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Competition & Cooperation at BVI Dinghy Championships

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Hearty competition and whole-hearted cooperation proved the big news at this year’s BVI Dinghy Championships. The regatta, which took place May 17th to 18th out of Tortola’s Nanny Cay Marina, was the last of three events to decide the overall winner of the VI Triple Crown in the Optimist. The Championships also hosted four other classes – Lasers, Byte CII, 420 and IC24 – and it was in the Laser Class where keen acts of true sportsmanship won the day.

Training and experience is what St. Thomas’ Teddy Nicolosi attributes as the secret to his success in winning the Optimist class at St. Croix’s Cruzan Open Regatta in February, St. Thomas’ VIODA Optimist Championship in May and the BVI Dinghy Championships to take home the VI Triple Crown title.

“The most challenging factor was having to adjust to the different conditions at each event,” says Nicolosi, who was one of 33 sailors competing in the Optimist.

Rhône Findlay, first in Lasers. Photo: Shakti Segura/photographyshatki.com
Rhône Findlay, first in Lasers. Photo: Shakti Segura/photographyshatki.com

The BVI’s Rayne Duff finished second overall in the Optimist class and first in the Blue Fleet (ages 11 and 12) at the BVI Dinghy Championships. BVI sailors didn’t attend the Cruzan Open this year which put them out of the point score running for the Triple Crown title.

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“I worked so hard on my starts at the South Americans (Optimist South American Championships in Punta del Este, Uruguay) in April that I felt like the starts this weekend were easy. Winning every start put me a long way towards winning races at this regatta,” says Duff.

Antigua’s Rocco Falcone rounded out the top three overall finishers in the BVI event, followed by St. Thomas’ Mia Nicolosi, who earned Top Girl and first in the White Fleet (ages ten and under).

“This was my last regatta in White Fleet and I’m happy to be going into Blue Fleet,” says Nicolosi. “Being Top Girl is nice but I want to be top sailor. I practice four days a week including all day Saturdays and Sundays.”

The eight competitor Laser class was won by Sint Maarten’s Rhône Findlay. Findlay had his heart set on successfully defending his title, although this result was far from certain at the start. He discovered in the very first race that his chartered boat was taking on water. He tried to patch it. He tried to drain it. Nothing worked and his scores placed him deep on the scoreboard. The rainbow on the horizon came at lunch when Findlay returned to the host Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI’s Olympic hopeful in the 49er, Alec Anderson, loaned Findlay his Laser hull. The rest of the day Findlay scored bullets in nearly all of the races.

“The next morning, Alec continued to let me borrow his Laser hull. We sailed six races in ideal conditions. I scored in the top three in all with two bullets,” Findlay explains. “There was some very good close racing and there was also a fun competitive spirit among us Laser sailors.”

The icing on the cake came when Findlay donated his charter refund to the Olympic campaign of Anderson and his crew, Chris Brockbank.

In other results, St. Thomas’ Scott McKenzie won the Byte CII class, St. Croix’s Sara Hardee the 420 and the BVI’s Colin Rathbun the IC24.

“We enjoyed the racing plus how well the organization was on shore,” says Rathbun. “There was a great set up on the beach at Nanny Cay with music, a nice lounge, special bar, foods and bands. It was a really fun event for kids and parents and I’m sure the regatta’s success will bring out a lot more people next year.”

For full results, visit: www.regattanetwork.com/event/7610#_newsroom+results

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

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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