ANGUILLA YOUTH SAILING CLUB TEAM COMPETES IN PUERTO RICO
The Anguilla Youth Sailing Club’s sailors representedAnguillain the 11th Annual San Juan International Regatta on the 4th and 5th of February. Coach Hazen Grant and Shemorie Richardson were able to travel thanks toCapeAir’s donation of two free return trips. Straw Hat Restaurant generously donated two additional tickets for Kendal Richardson and Starlin Rosario.
A record 100 sailors from 12 islands and countries – all three U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, theDominican Republic, Anguilla, St. Maarten,Curaçao,Guatemalaand theUnited Statesparticipated this year. “The regatta couldn’t have been better,” Club Nautico de San Juan Commodore Gustavo Hermida said. “We had great weather, sunny skies with winds 10 to 15 knots all three days, and excellent competition on the water.”
Shermorie Richardson raced in the Optimist advanced fleet and finished 11th overall out of 31 boats. Coach Hazen expressed his satisfaction. “This is an excellent result given his lack of previous exposure and the high calibre of competition. He certainly improved as he went along and in the last race was the first boat to the windward mark so even the small experience he had was paying off. He is learning fast and will soon be among the top competitors in the region.”Puerto Rico’s Andre Reguero eventually won with a 10-point lead.
Kendal Richardson and Starlin Rosario sailed in the very competitive 420 class and had a promising first day, but on day two equipment problems forced them to miss three races. Despite these setbacks, the sailors showed great mettle, continued to compete and pulled off a great result to finish 4th out of 5 boats.
Regattas are a highlight of the AYSC’s calendar – each year they send a team to compete in regattas in St Maarten, St Croix,Tortolaand St. Barth’s. International regattas are a vibrant experience for young sailors and a crucial element in any aspiring sailor’s training. Coach Hazen has worked hard to mould his team of youngsters into a competitive force and they are gathering great results. And they love to compete.
ASA President Donald Curtis remarks “Our sailors train hard each week inRoadBay. But the experience of sailing in unfamiliar waters is a great learning curve for them. Add in travelling overseas to see how other races operate and meeting sailors from neighbouring islands and you get a winning mix. These students gain far more than sailing expertise from these regattas. The AYSC is delighted to be able to give these youngsters this opportunity and is very grateful for the support fromCapeAirand Straw Hat Restaurant which made it happen.”
Coach Hazen comments “The regatta was a success in more ways than appears on the scoreboard. The experience of travelling overseas to represent your country is something that a lot of people never get the chance to do. I am sure that the boys will take what they have learned and share the experience with our other young sailors to inspire them to follow in their wake.”
The AYSC is a non-profit organisation that teachesAnguilla’s national sport to children regardless of their financial status – many of the team have benefitted from the club’s scholarship programme made possible by generous donations from a large number of benefactors.
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)