The BVI won the 16th annual Premier’s Cup International Youth Regatta. This is the first time since 2008 and second time in the history of this event that a BVI team has kept the trophy at home. The secret? A strong team of talented young sailors.
“The winning team were all members of the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club (RBVIYC) skippered by Jason Putley,” says Brian Dobson, the director of sailing and organizer of the July 18th to 20th regatta hosted out of Tortola’s Nanny Cay Marina. “Both Jason and Daniel Petrovic are excellent sailors who know the local waters well, which was a great factor in them winning nine out of the 12 races and finishing 2nd in the other three.”
In addition to Putley and Petrovic, BVI 1 team included Jonathan Wood, Karie’Jai ‘KJ’ Rhymer, Kyle Roose and James Dawson.
Six teams competed in the regatta. Team BVI 1 handily led the pack with 15 points, followed by Cayman Islands second (33 points) and winner of the Sportsmanship Award; Anguilla third (36 points); Antigua fourth (38 points); USA fifth (63 points) and BVI 2 sixth (65 points).
Sailors raced a total of 12 races over two days in six identical IC-24s, switching boats throughout the event so that every team had an equal chance. This is one, if not the only, youth regatta in the Caribbean sailed 100 percent by sailors under the age of 18 in keelboats rather than dinghies.
Islands whose names start with A have dominated this event for the past three years. Members of the Anguilla National Sailing Team and Anguilla Youth Sailing Club accomplished back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012. Last year, it was sailors from the Antigua Yacht Club and Antigua’s National Sailing Academy that earned the coveted win.
The BVI Premier’s Cup International Youth Regatta is hosted by the Rotary Clubs of the BVI and benefits Kids and The Sea BVI. In addition to competition at sea, sailors had a chance to make friends at group meals and at the tent village erected on the Nanny Cay grounds where teams and their coaches stayed. Members of the RBVIYC officiated at the racing. Platinum sponsors include Nanny Cay Marina & Resort, Nagico Insurances and Digicel.
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.