February 15, 2019

Cayman Sailors at Bahamas Optimist National Championships


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Harbour Island hosted the Bahamas’ largest sailing regatta last weekend (5-7) when the top junior sailors competed for top honours in the 2012 Optimist National Championships.

The 2012 contest is the largest sailing regatta ever held in the Bahamas with more than 90 boats registered to compete.

Sailors ranged in age from 8 to 15 and represented New Providence, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Eleuthera, Abaco and the Cayman Islands.

Currently (Fri 5 when this article was written), the plan was for seven races to be sailed in the series over Friday and Saturday. The sailors wouldl be racing on two different courses located on the harbour side of beautiful Harbour Island, one for the Championship Fleet of around 45 boats and the other for the beginner Green Fleet of 45 or more boats.

The Bahamas’ top junior sailors, including Paul de Souza (current Junior Sunfish and Junior Laser National Champion) and Spencer Cartwright (Optimist Nationals 2011 champion), are expected to race in the Championship Fleet but are expected to be challenged by some of the younger sailors who are now starting to sail very competitively.

The country’s third premier young sailor, Alande (AJ) Forbes, who attended this year’s Optimist World Championship in the Dominican Republic along with Spencer and Paul, will not be competing due to an injury.

The Green Fleeters, as this is their first real regatta, will be coached around the course by Bahamas Sailing Association instructor Donico Brown.

This is a tradition developed over the years, and helps the novice sailors learn more about the art and technique involved in racing.

This regatta would not be possible without the help of corporate sponsors, including Bahamas Fast Ferries, Bahamas Hot Mix, Cable Cares (Cable Bahamas), Palm Cay, Coca Cola, KPMG, Rotary International, East Nassau Rotary, and Royal Bank of Canada. Many individuals have also lent their support in terms of financial contributions and their time.

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