Cayman’s young sailors end 2013 on a high

| 13/01/2014

(CISC): Cayman youth sailors have had a great year, proudly representing Cayman at a number of overseas regattas but the real climax to the year came in the very last week with 11 sailors travelling to Miami. The Orange Bowl is the largest youth regatta in the USA and one of the largest in the world with over 700 sailors coming from 25 countries, and more than 30 US states. The team, accompanied by Coach Raph and Coach Kristine, got up at the break of dawn on Boxing Day to travel to the 4 day regatta. The sheer size of the racing fleets was the biggest obstacle they had to overcome and they all showed just how far Cayman youth sailing has come by fighting it out with the very best.

In the Laser 4.7 class Pablo Bertran took second place overall with Florence Allan in seventh. Georgia Heaver-Wren and James Allen were competing in their first overseas regatta and gained invaluable experience from competing at this level. Georgia had one stand out race where she rounded the top and bottom mark in 2nd place. She later admitted that “it was the only time that I’ve ever been terrified and happy at the same time”. 

Coach Raph Harvey was extremely proud of his sailors. “As a small country we are used to saying that we did well not to come last in large international events but to hear the Cayman Islands being called up to the prize giving podium at such a major event gives you a wonderful feeling. These guys have trained hard and moved up a level. They can be very proud of their achievements”. In the Laser radial class Jesse Jackson and Shane McDermott raced in a fleet of 127 boats against some very talented sailors and held their own to achieve mid fleet places.

The younger sailors were racing in the Optimist class and also achieved astonishing success. Allena Rankine was competing in her second Orangebowl in a championship fleet of 240 boats and what a difference a year made with her 84th place representing a 138 place improvement. Will Jackson was also in the fleet coming in 215th place. The green fleet which is for less experienced sailors had 60 boats and again Cayman sailors had people talking with Charles Allen in 8th place and Monique Hernandez in 10th, collecting trophies. Caylem Hill was 31st.

Back in Cayman, Coach Harvey reflected on the youth team. “As a coach I am very excited with the strides the sailors have all made at this regatta and I cannot wait to get back out on the water to start improving on the things we have learnt from sailing against such talented competitors. The next major event will see four of our sailors trying to qualify for this year’s Youth Olympic Games at the Byte C2 regatta which is to be held at the end of February in Jensen beach, Florida so we have to get out there and practice, practice, practice. It’s great to know that these kids will push themselves to do their very best”.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A great achievement. These kids are awesome

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Cayman. Very best of luck with the Olympic qualifyer at the end of February.  It would be great to see the Cayman Island and the sport of sailing represented at the Youth Olympic Games. Best of luck to you all.