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2010 Summer Vacation Means Sailing and Winning for Alec Anderson

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British Virgin Islands' sailor and Olympic aspirant Alec Anderson came straight off a hot freshman year sailing Club 420s for the Roger Williams University Sailing Team, in Bristol, Rhode Island, to launch a jam-packed and successful summer of laser sailing.

"My goal in college was to come up to speed as much as possible in the 420," said Anderson, who accomplished this objective by being named "Rookie of the Year" by the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association. "I found a high level of competition in college sailing with an emphasis on starts in fleet racing. It was the first time I ever team raced and I liked it and look forward to doing more."

Anderson planned his summer with an eye toward a future Olympic Laser campaign. "I really wanted to keep my Laser sailing going," he said. He certainly did.

Anderson capped off back-to-back wins in Corpus Christie, Texas, at the Laser Gulf Coast Championships and Laser Radial North Americans.

"I thought the Gulf Coast Championships would be an easy regional event and good practice for the North Americans," said Anderson. "Actually, it was a challenge because several good kids came out. My goal was to sail conservatively and be consistent and I did."

Anderson's win in the North Americans wasn't guaranteed at the start, when his first score was a BFD or disqualification for being over early at the start. "I ignored that score, put my head down and worked on my boat speed," he said.

Ultimately, Anderson won the 2010 North American Laser Radial title with a 16-point lead in the 94 boat fleet with no worse than a 9th place finish once he was able to drop the BFD. Conditions were hot and humid with a 5 to 15 knot breeze.

After a short rest and training period in Halifax, Canada, Anderson flew to Largs, Scotland for the Laser Radial World Championships. "Once again, I started off with a Black Flag (BFD)," said Anderson. He rebounded with a string of consistent finishes that put him in 10th place in the 92-boat fleet.

"I had one other bad score, a 23rd. I knew if we were able to race I could have dropped that and finished in 5th or 6th," said Anderson. Unfortunately, too little wind followed by too much wind cancelled the final two days of sailing at the Laser Radial Worlds. Only six races were sailed.

Anderson next flew to the Chicago Match Race Center where he crewed for the BVI Team headed by Colin Rathbun to respectable fifth and seventh place finishes in the Summer Classic A and B Regattas.

Next up, Anderson will represent the BVI in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in the Laser class.

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.


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