The Royal BVI Yacht Club Tortola Team sailed to victory in the Kids and the Sea Premier’s Cup at Nanny Cay last weekend.
The two-day regatta featured six youth teams from around the region, including the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Antigua, the United States and two teams from the Virgin Islands.
The sailors competed on IC24s and completed 12 races in 15 knots of wind and choppy water conditions in the Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Jason Puttley was the winning skipper for the RBVIYC team. On Saturday, he had just come off the water after winning two races to change boats. Despite the one-design IC24, all the teams rotated boats throughout the regatta to ensure an even playing field.
Mr. Puttley said “good starts and good tactics up wind” helped his team to victory. The skipper competes regularly at local regattas with older and more experienced sailors. However, last weekend he was in charge of the boat.
“It feels good not to be bossed around as much,” Mr. Puttley said. “I am making the calls. It is a really good experience having control of the team.”
The sailor was hoping for a “picket fence” — all first-place finishes — during the regatta. And his prediction wasn’t too far off. In the end, he would finish with nine bullets out of 12 races. The team took second in the other three races.
His crew consisted of Daniel Petrovic, Jonathan Woods, KJ Rhymer, Kyle Roose and James Dawson.
Off the water, the sailors camped in tents that were pitched at Nanny Cay. Even the sailors that live on Tortola were required to camp.
“It’s awful,” Mr. Puttley said with a smile.
The other VI team was coached by Claudia Delahoy. She has been working with the KATS sailors for the past two weeks. On Saturday, she was in a rib giving instructions to them between races. For some of the young sailors it was their first time competing in a regatta.
“It is important to give them experience and get them out on the water,” Ms. Delahoy said. “It is the first time they have really done starts. That is the toughest part.”
The KATS team consisted of Kwayne Francis, Noah George, Jerome Parkins, Max Reshetiloff, George Dawson, Alex Ramboroseand Christen Glasgow.
The KATS team finished in last place, but Ms. Delahoy said the sailors continued to progress throughout the regatta.
“They aren’t in the back of the fleet by themselves,” Ms. Delahoy said during the second race.
The regatta is supported and organised through various Rotary clubs both in the VI and abroad. About 20 Rotary club members volunteered at the event.
The Cayman Islands team took second place, while Anguilla came in third. Antigua placed fourth and the USA’s Sail Caribbean team finished fifth.