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Antigua Wins 2005 CSA Dinghy Championships

For the first
time in 25 years, Antigua hosted the Caribbean Dinghy Championship over the
weekend of July 16th and 17th. Open to six member teams
from across the region, the event proved a wonderful opportunity to show off
the sailing conditions that make Antigua famous. Young sailors from Barbados,
Puerto Rico, BVI, St. Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago joined team Antigua for
two days of competitive racing. Placing second last year in Tortola, team
Antigua wanted to win their first dinghy championship at home.

Earlier this month, an intense qualifier
was held to determine the Antiguan team. Sailing in the Laser Standard Class
would be Hampton University student Shawne Malone. His fellow classmate Omari
Scott would sail in the Laser Radial Class. Sailing the Sport 16s were Jamarly
Meade and Shane Horsford. Franklin Liburd would represent team Antigua on Zoom
8 and rounding out the team was newcomer, 11-year-old Callum Thomson sailing an
Optimist.

The competition coming in to face Antigua
was strong. From Barbados there was Kwame Hinds and Charlie Gloumean on the
Lasers, Lily Dash and Miha Krumpak on the Sport 16, CSA Jason Tindale on Zoom 8
and Amy Cox on the Optimist. Tortola was without an Optimist competitor but
they brought Bryshawn Scatliffe and Emma Paul to race the Lasers, Javan Cooper
and James Woods on the Sport 16s and Miss Elsa Myers on the Zoom 8. St. Maarten
could have been called Team Ferron! They brought along Robbie, Stephanie and
Jolyon. Cary Byerley, along with Steven and Ernst Looser, rounded out the team.
The final teams from Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago came with Leonardo
Perez, Carlos Teixidor, Philip de Gannes and Alan Alkins to finish off the
Laser competitors. Justin Castagne, Melissa Hart, Gabriel Ramos and Jorge
Hernandez were to race the Sport 16s. Aaron Barcant and Miguel Vega on Zoom 8
and finally, Nick Knox and Juan Perdono would race the Optimists.

Saturday morning came with sunny skies and
a northeasterly wind blowing 10 knots. As the teams set out, there was
anticipation in the air and a bit of excitement as Optimist competitor Jolyon
Ferron found not one, not two, but three Tarantulas in his boat! After a full
day, six races had been sailed and the competition had been strong. Point
totals were close as the results for day one came in. Barbados was holding
third place, Puerto Rico was in second and Antigua was in first.

With the intensity of the previous day, the
racing on Sunday was dramatic and quick, with the final three races over by
11:30. The teams returned to the Yacht Club for lunch and to state their
protests. At the end of nine races, seven protests were logged…two from day one
and five from day two. As we waited for the results, Team Antigua wanting the win
and Trinidad worrying about missing their plane, I had the opportunity to
interview Callum Thomson. At age 11, this was Callum’s first competition. He
began sailing at nine and while he was sure he placed fourth over all, he was
inspired by his competition and quite happy with his performance. When I asked
him about his favorite moment of the weekend, he stated that there was an
instant “in race two on Sunday when I was really close to the leaders”. While
he found the experience well-run by the Antigua Yacht Club and very
inspirational, he also found that racing “was tiring and a lot of work!”

The points were totaled, the protests were
heard and it was finally time for the results.
After a wonderful speech by Sir Robbie Ferron, Tommy Patterson started the
ceremony by presenting Jolyon Ferron with a special Spiderman Trophy. When the
laughter had died down, the awards for each class were announced as follows:

OPTIMIST

1st
Amy Cox

2nd
Juan Perdono

3rd
Nicholas Knox

 

ZOOM 8

1st
Jason Tindale

2nd
Aaron Barcant

3rd
Franklin Libourd

 

SPORT 16

1st
Justin Castagne/ Melissa Hart

2nd
Gabi Ramos/ Jorge Hernandez

3rd
Jamarly Meade/ Shane Horsford

 

LASER STANDARD

1st
Shawne Malone

2nd
Leo Perez

3rd
Kwame Hines

 

LASER RADIAL

1st
Omari Scott

2nd
Carlos Teixidor

3rd Emma
Paul

 

The Overall
results were next and they were close! Tortola came in sixth, St. Maarten took
fifth, Trinidad took fourth after a tie breaker that put Barbados in third
place and -with tension growing, it was announced that Puerto Rico and Antigua
had tied but, Antigua held off Puerto Rico for their first win!

A special thank you should go out to all
the volunteers who assisted the Antigua Yacht Club host,
what CSA President Robbie Ferron called “one
of the best CSA Dinghy Championships with first class race management and
magnificent equipment.” For information on the 2006 CSA Dinghy Championships,
contact the CSA website in the coming months.

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