Sailors paint scoreboard at Optimist Championship

| 29/03/2012

Florence Allan - Cayman sailor finished 2nd overall and also first female overall (275x300).jpg(CISA): Cayman’s youth sailors have done the Cayman Islands proud with a fabulous overall result at the inaugural 2012 Race Cayman Optimist Open & Western Caribbean Optimist Championship hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC). The youth competitors representing the Cayman Islands finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th overall and 1st female after the three day championship held over 15th – 18th March 2012 in the North Sound in Grand Cayman. USA sailor Jordan Wiggins – who just a few weeks earlier narrowly missed out on a place on the American Optimist team – was the overall winner with a dominant performance, winning 11 of 15 races.

It was not as easy as the score line might suggest. There were some very close finishes in every race with Florence Allan (Cayman), (pictured above), Evan Langford (Jamaica), Tyler Cartwright (Bahamas) and Allena Rankine (Cayman) all pushing Jordan but his experience paid dividends in the end.

Cayman sailors Florence Allan (first female), Pablo Bertran, Allena Rankine and Finley McDougall came in second, third, fourth and eight respectively – results which the Sailing Centre coaches are extremely proud of considering it’s only their second regatta against international completion.  Andrew Moon, the Commodore of the Sailing Club said, “All the hard training paid off. The kids showed huge dedication in the pre-championship training programmes and the results speak for themselves. We really have some very talented youth sailors in the Cayman Islands”.

The regatta took place about 150 metres off the sailing club dock in Red Bay – which meant that parents, family and well-wishers could all eye ball the intense action. The regatta was over three days (Friday – Sunday) with winds speeds of up to 19 knots in the gust at times. This did not make racing any easier for our light and relatively inexperienced local racers. Head coach Raph Harvey said, “At times I wished the wind would just drop off (if only just for the upwind legs) a few knots, to make it a bit easier on their tiny frames, but they dug deeper andgot on with the task-at-hand, and for efforts like that you can ask for no more. I am very proud”.

The regatta was a major success and the CISC is already looking forward to Race Cayman 2013. All the competitors were raving about what a good time they had (both on and off the water) and can’t wait to return next year. “This is a world class venue you have got here – we will be spreading the word back home” said Bill Wiggins (Jordan’s dad and avid sail boat racer).

The Sailing Club and National Sailing Centre would like to thank the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sport & Culture, and HSBC for being major sponsors. Without their support this championship would not be possible. Flowers bottled water continue to support the racing team in their development.

Category: Sports

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This was a great event very well organised by the Sailing Club. Well done to the youth sailors. Looking forward to Race Cayman 2013. And of course……thanks to the sponsors.