McDermot sails to victory in the Youth Nationals

| 17/10/2013

(CISC): Last weekend saw the Cayman Islands youth sailors hit the water for the 2013 Scotiabank Youth Nationals Sailing Championship.  The annual regatta is one of the most anticipated sailing events in the Cayman Islands Sailing Club calendar, and this year it surpassed all expectations. The conditions on Saturday were perfect although the wind picked up on Sunday to over 15 knots and made for a more challenging day of racing.There were over 20 sailors competing in four classes: Optimist, Pico, Laser and Byte. In the Pico class there were many sailors for whom it was their first two day regatta and it was Shane McDermott who took the trophy in the Laser and Byte class.

On Saturday, the pairing of Matthew Hanson and Isaiah O’Sullivan proved dominant and they picked up all four first places, enough to win the class. On Sunday with the wind picking up they were challenged by Trey Milgate who took all three races and second place overall.  Kia Davies and Chloe Bentick sailed consistently well to take third.

Coach Raph Harvey was quick to highlight the overall skills of the sailors and their tenacity too. “It was great to see so much determination from these sailors who have not raced seriously before. Special mention should go out to Saul O’Sullivan who sailed with incredible courage to complete every race in his first regatta and of course Peta Adams and her Race Committee and the instructors who have nurtured these youngsters to where they are today”. 

The Optimist class was dominated by Allena Rankine, a fantastic young sailor who has now won this competition a record four times.  Second and third place was a battle between Monique Hernandez and Will Jackson who ended up with seventeen points each, Monique just pipping Will on the countback.

The senior sailors in the Laser and Byte class sailed as a combined fleet with the overall results being worked out on a handicap system.   It was a close battle between all the sailors with only a few points between each of them. 

On Saturday Pablo Bertran (a youth Olympic hopeful) sailed his Byte to two firsts, with Shane McDermott, also in a Byte and Thomas Bishop in a Laser also taking a win respectively.  On Sunday with the increase in wind Shane McDermott was able to show his strength and fitness and dominate to take first place.  Behind him, Pablo edged out Thomas to take second.

Shane Ebanks from Scotiabank was on hand to present the trophies and had nothing but praise for the young sailors. “We are proud to have supported this event since 2007 and are thrilled that it has grown and grown to involve more and more youth sailors. You can all take pride in your achievements”.

Rick Caley added his thanks to Scotiabank. “The event has grown thanks to Scotiabank and the standard of racing is astonishing. Hopefully all these youth sailors will now join in monthly racing at the club and compete alongside the adults.”

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