The St. Lucia Yacht Club’s Youth Sailing Programme sanctioned by the St. Lucia Sailing Association saw a team of 8 young Optimist and Laser sailors and coaches off to Schoelcher, Martinique on Thursday March 3, 2011 to compete in the 21st annual Semaine Internationale de Schoelcher. Sailing coaches, Max Todd and Omari Scott, have put the sailors through vigorous training on the water for the past month and are eager to see results at this international regatta where sailors will meet on the start line with 60 or so competitors from around the region and from as far as Canada.
For the first time the St. Lucian team consists of 6 laser sailors: Marc Spurway, 14, Dylan Charles, 14, Raina Bergasse, 16; 2012 London Olympic candidates, Beth Lygoe, 30, and Stephanie Devaux-Lovell, 15, who also joins team mate Scott Anthony, 17, at the 2011 Laser Youth Worlds in Croatia in August. The Schoelcher regatta serves as the first of several international regattas in which the top sailors will be entering in preparation for the “big” regattas.
Sailing in the Optimist class, Marcus Sweeney and Luc Chevrier will be using Schoelcher as their first international regatta for the year which will prepare them for the North American Championships this summer and, for Marcus, the Opti Worlds.
The sailors and coaches are grateful to their sponsors: IGY Marina and Ferrands Dairy and to the kind members of the yachting fraternity who have volunteered their yacht and their time to sail the team across the channel to Martinique and accommodate this St. Lucia Youth sailing team. Competition starts Saturday March 5 and sailors race daily through to Tuesday March 8 and are due to return to IGY Marina on Wednesday afternoon.
Back at Reduit Beach the Sailing Programme continues successfully with weekly sessions for sailors varying in age from 6-17. The St. Lucia Yacht Club invites the public to visit its website www.stluciayachtclub.com for information about the Club’s activities and how one can learn to sail or be crew on a J24 yacht or visit the Yacht Club, open Mon-Fri. 3-9pm and weekends from 10-9pm.