Cayman sails to success

| 25/03/2013

CISC_0.gif(CISC): This year’s Race Cayman recently attracted sailors from around the world once again to compete in Cayman’s waters. The event, now in its fifth year, is hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club and featured three different categories of sailboat. Sailors found choppy waters Strong on the first two days, but lighter conditions on the third and final day, producing perfect sailing conditions. Rick Caley, Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC) manager, was enthusiastic about the event. He said, “We are thrilled to have Heineken on board as sponsors of the J22 class and hope to see Race Cayman grow to challenge other Heineken sailing regattas around the world. It’s our most prestigious sailing regatta of the year”

The J22 International Invitational regatta, which has been running since 2006, attracted competitors from Germany, USA, Uruguay, South Africa, UK and the Bahamas to race against the top three qualifying teams from Cayman. Local sailors included Mike Farrington, who raced “Moonstruck”, Tomeaka McTaggart skippering “Ciao!” and Bruce Johnson on “Yahoo”.

Racing were close run, as returning overseas teams had come prepared with local knowledge from previous years. The German team, skippered by Peter Karrie, came to compete with rival Mike Farrington, with whom they have met twice at the J22 world championships. Farrington has won Race Cayman for the past four years. Returning skipper Marc Fischer from the USA got the top boat in the draw and brought a strong team with him. By the final day, Mike Farrington was commanding a good lead with Tomeaka McTaggart holding on to second place. The race for third place was won by the Germans, one point ahead of the South African team.

Farrington was quick to praise the overseas teams. He said, “This wouldn’t be the regatta it is without you guys coming to race us here in our home waters. It was tough out there. We are just grateful that you can escape the rigours of freezing winters and come and enjoy the racing in great conditions”

The open dinghy event saw Lasers racing alongside the Optimist fleet, in races run by first time race officers Gillian Allan and Jessica Jackson.  Conditions were challenging for the small boats with gusts of over 20 knots and big swells in the North Sound.  In the Optimist fleet, Monique Hernandez took first place, beating Cayman’s national champion, Charles Allen, and East End champion, Will Jackson, The Laser fleet winner was Rob Jackson, closely followed by Pablo Bertran.

The bigger boats raced on day two for the first ever Race Cayman Cruisers Cup. The conditions were tough and Artemis suffered rudder and then engine failure, even before the start of the race. Four more boats later retired before reaching the finish line. Clive Bodden’s mighty catamaran, “Yahoo Yahoo”, stormed around the course to first place, followed by “Pie Sees 3” some 15 minutes behind. Richard York’s “Norhimar” took third place.

The major sponsors of the event were Heineken and Jacques Scott, who put on a sailing fiesta happy hour. The prize giving on Sunday was at George Town Yacht Club.

Caley said that he hopes next year’s event will be even bigger. He said, “We are trying to get the Youth Olympic Games, North American qualifying championships in the Byte class to be held here next March, which will bring youth sailors from far and wide to sail in North Sound and try to qualify to go to Nanjing, China in August 2014.”


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