A challenging weekend in St Thomas for VI youth sailors

By BVI Royal Yacht Club

Ryan Lettsome placed second in U10 white fleet at St Thomas International Optimist Regatta. Photo: Matias Capizzano

Ryan Lettsome placed second in U10 white fleet at St Thomas International Optimist Regatta. Photo: Matias Capizzano

The 2016 St Thomas International Optimist Regatta, presented by EMS Virgin Islands, took place from 17-19 June with the BVI represented by five sailors. Conditions throughout the weekend were very challenging with strong winds and big swell on the race course.

Four sailors raced in the 80-boat Championship fleet, Rayne Duff (red), Nathan Haycraft (blue), Ryan Lettsome (white) and Max Reshetiloff (red).

2014 champion, Rayne Duff was looking to re-take the title from rival, Mia Nicolosi but it was not to be this year. Despite winning more races than the ISV sailor, Duff also posted uncharacteristic scores on day one. A capsize in the first race lead to a 25th place finish and 21st in the final race on Friday was too much to recover from.

Unable to discard both of these double-digit scores, Duff ended the championship on a high with wins in the final two races but had to settle for fourth overall and third in the red fleet. Also racing in the red fleet was Max Reshetiloff who finished in 62nd overall and 34th in the red fleet.

Blue fleet racer Nathan Haycraft had a consistent weekend, taking his best finish in race six with a sixth. Finishing in 15th place overall secured fourth place in the blue fleet.

Ryan Lettsome finished in 56th place overall which earned him second place in the white fleet for sailors under 10. Lettsome sailed a consistent series with his best result coming in race seven which he finished in 37th place.

Twenty eight sailors competed in the green fleet and over the three days they completed 25 races. Kael Chalwell, who recently graduated from the KATS programme and joined the BVI Race Team, was competing at his first overseas regatta and finished an excellent 15th position. Chalwell put in a very solid performance, with seven race finishes in the top ten and a best race finish of third.

Next up for Team BVI is the Optimist North American Championships from 10-18 July in Antigua. Representing the BVI will be Rayne Duff, Nathan Haycraft, Kyle Roose and Ryan Lettsome.

Red Fleet
3 Rayne Duff (4th overall)
34 Max Reshetiloff (62 overall)

Blue Fleet
4 Nathan Haycraft (15 overall)

White Fleet
2 – Ryan Lettsome (56 overall)

Green Fleet
15 – Kael Chalwell

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BVI’s youth sailors face fierce competition at St Thomas International Optimist Regatta

By BVI Platinum

Rayne Duff enjoys a light moment at the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta Photo: Matias Capizzano

Rayne Duff enjoys a light moment at the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta
Photo: Matias Capizzano

Top youth sailor, Rayne Duff fought hard, but settled for fourth at St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta and Clinic which was held at St. Thomas Yacht Club from June 15-21.

The first day of races started off at an area set just past Cow and Calf rocks outside of Cowpet Bay with medium to light winds, but very choppy waves which sailors found very difficult to deal with at times.

The team responded very well after the first two races and the kids were quickly able to adapt to the conditions, which showed with wins in the third and fourth race from Rayne Duff.

Day two of the racing was very similar conditions, but after a strong showing from Duff he went in for the day with an overall position of 1st with one day to go.

On the third and final day of fleet racing, the wind picked up dramatically with many of the sailors struggling to cope with the conditions and keep their boats flat.

Duff won the first race of the day, but fierce competitor Teddy Nicolosi of USVI knew he had to cover Rayne and force him into getting some bad results in order to stand a chance of winning.

Nicolosi successfully covered Duff tack for tack in spite of both finishing deep in the pack at 45th and 49th, respectively, in the 62-boat advanced optimist fleet.

Nicolosi’s game plan was to use this poor score as his one throw-out. Unfortunately, Duff had finished 17th in an earlier race and had to keep that double-digit score since his 49th place now turned into his one worst score throw-out.

That put Duff a nearly 20 points behind Nicolosi going into the last race of the regatta.

Nicolosi finished the regatta in 1st place overall with Duff finishing in fourth. For the BVI, Nathan Haycraft finished 19th overall after a strong collection of results on the final day.

James Rajic-Knight finished 48th, Maxwell Reshetiloff finished in 58th with Kyle Roose close behind in 61st. Most of the competitors said it had been one of the most competitive regattas they had ever sailed in.

The regatta also featured team racing. The BVI team won 2 out of their 5 races, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to qualify for the semi finals. 10 kids from the BVI took part in the event with 5 in opti championship fleet and five in opti fleet.

BVI’s Team: Rayne Duff, Nathan Haycraft, James Rajic-Knight, Maxwell Reshetiloff and Kyle Roose, Anya Reshetiloff, Ryan Lettsome, Nicolas Haycraft, Connor MacCallum and Scott Kirk.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club thanked Moorings, Nanny Cay, NAGICO Insurance as well as St. Thomas Yacht Club for running such a successful event.