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Optimist Racing for St. Lucia’s Grown Folks

The "Oldie Goldie" sailing members of the St. Lucia Yacht Club decided to take up the slack in the quiet season between the season’s holidays and the beginning of the new junior training season. What started out as a joke and a laugh came to fruition on Saturday 14th September when seven of the "Grown Folks" rigged and sailed the Optis on an inaugural race off the beach in front of the club house.

With boats at the ready, a "Le Mans" start commenced with the intrepid sailors having first to get in, fall in, fall out, or somehow get into their buoyant boats and head off for the first mark, which was a reach of some 3-400 yards!

With legs protruding over the sides and some heads visible and others trying to find their tillers, the fleet got away. What a ball! At the mark, which they had to leave to Port, things got serious and endless screams for water and banging into the buoy-all in this initial sail.

A quick run down the next buoy just a few yards away, then harden up to the beat back to the beach. The officer of the day, Peter Gibbs, stood up to his waist in the water to take the results as the crews disembarked as elegantly as they could. Overboard mainly!

Tired, knees mashed up, wet and some exhausted—the intrepid sailors came ashore for a lunch break and some bragging! Fed & watered the O/D turned them around for a second bash. Now experienced?!?, some serious plans were executed based on their previous run and the fleet took on a more serious race.

As always, the racing "wash-up" and debate went on ’til?, amply assisted by Mr. Heineken & Mr. Piton.  Proceeds of the entrance fees are going to the SLYC Junior Sailing Programme.  www.stluciayachtclub.com

Report courtesy of St. Lucia Yacht Club Bosun Ted Bull and Membership Secretary Danielle DeRouck

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