If someone had ordered the weather for the 2004 Schools Regatta, they could not have done a better job. Saturday's weather, December 11, was perfect for the young sailors who competed in the BVI Yacht Club's third annual School's Regatta. With winds blowing 12 - 14 knots, calm seas and gorgeous Caribbean sunshine, two classes competed for the coveted perpetual trophy, Laser Radials and Opti's.
Additionally, several adults were out racing the course with the young competitors working to push the official participants to sail as hard as they could possible sail as well as hone their own skills.
The top honour of the day went to Bryshaun SCATLIFFE, who easily won the Laser Radial class. Bryshaun is a student at the BVI high school and has been competing in Lasers for a number of years. He is hopeful that he will be representing the BVI at the Olympics in the near future. Even with several adults on the course, including his sailing mentor, Guy ELDRIDGE, Bryce easily took first place winning four out of four races. Sean ANDERSON was second, and it took a tiebreaker to sort the third and fourth place finshers. Although tied in points, Elsa MEYERS ended the regatta in third place and Dean FONSECA was awarded fourth.
Alec ANDERSON took the top place in the Opti class, winning all five of the races; Chris BROCKBANK was second and Amanda PUTLEY was third. Sailing with the Opti class was Chris PINE, the new racing coach hired to start race training for all interested BVI youngsters.
Bob PHILLIPS, Race Officer for the event, summed it up with, 'The sailing skills of all the students were impressive. Without exception, all demonstrated confidence in boat handling, determination, sportsmanship and a competitive spirit.'
After the day's racing, official participants, adult sailors and the race committee gathered at the Royal BVI Yacht Club. The under 16 crowd sat around at lunch discussing the day's events, hashing out the good, the bad and the ugly. At the prize giving, all were recognized and Seamus HENNESSY, Head of Cedar's Secondary School, was given a prize for 'allowing' his students to beat him.