Chalwell, Duff & Morrell head clean sweep for Team BVI in St Thomas

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Team BVI at the 2017 MLK Regatta in St Thomas. Photo: Provided

Team BVI at the 2017 MLK Regatta in St Thomas. Photo: Provided

Ten Team BVI Sailors raced in St Thomas at the 2017 MLK Regatta, January 14 – 15. It was a tough two days for all the sailors with the chill northerly wind gusting up to 30 knots across the race courses. Kael Chalwell, Rayne Duff and Sam Morrell all topped their classes, Opti Green, Opti Championship and Club 420 respectively.

Optimist Championship Fleet
Back with a vengeance after some time away from competition in the Optimist Championship fleet was Rayne Duff. Thriving in the windy conditions he was on form throughout the weekend. With nine races sailed, Duff took the bullet in seven, posting six consecutive race wins and finished on top of the podium ahead of arch rival Mia Nicolosi.

It was a less successful weekend for the other Championship fleet sailors… Nathan Haycraft finishing in sixth and Kyle Roose in ninth to give them second and fifth in the blue fleet.

Haycraft, forced to skip the first race after breaking his mast step, was luckily able to switch to a spare boat and get back into the action for the remaining four races of the day. A better second day saw him climb back up the leaderboard but not quite clicking into his recent top form. Roose posted consistent middle fleet results with his best finish of sixth coming in race six.

White fleet sailors Ryan Lettsome and Samuel Allen finished 17th and 18th overall respectively, both sailors challenged by the strong winds. Allen, the newest sailor to the championship fleet, could not quite match his excellent first day when he showed outstanding downwind speed in the breezy conditions. Just two points ahead was team mate Lettsome who secured fifth in the white fleet but like many of the lighter sailors found the conditions a major challenge.

Club 420
The BVI’s Sam Morrell, currently at school in St Thomas, was dominant in the five boat Club 420 fleet with crew Caroline Teare. Finishing first in five of the nine races he racked up a six point lead to take the overall win from Teddy Nicolosi of St Thomas. Morrell is looking ahead to a busy high school racing season, so we will be hearing more from him soon.

Optimist Green Fleet
The Green Fleet were wisely held ashore on Saturday but completed six races on Sunday under the watchful eye of Guest Coach Danny Petrovic. Kael Chalwell took the fleet by storm, finishing first in four of the six races by comfortable margins to secure an emphatic win.

Racing at his first overseas regatta was Antonio Cisneros. After not finishing the first race he went on to post confident results, including two 7th place finishes and rounded out the weekend in ninth overall.

Just two points behind in tenth place was Amanda Plaxton who stormed out of the blocks to finish fifth in the first race and went on to post consistent results through the remaining races. The youngest (and smallest) sailor in the team, Wil Seddon, struggled with the strong winds and after solid finishes in the first two races sat out the rest of the weekend.

The RBVIYC thanks the organizers for putting on a great weekend, the Moorings for the mothership, all of the parents who helped load / unload, prepare meals or chaperone the team, skipper Chris, Coach Taylor, guest coach, Danny Petrovic and all the sponsors and supporters of the BVI Youth Sailing Team.

Click here for full results

BVI sailor Sam Morrell posts results in series of US regattas

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Sam Morrell raced in several US summer regattas.

Sam Morrell raced in several US summer regattas.

Sam Morrell has been busy this summer racing in the US with results including: 9th place finish at the Buzzards Bay Regatta in New Bedford, MA. With just under 200 Club 420’s competing, Morrell and his crew Caroline Teare posted a string of top 10 results to steal 9th place just ahead of the ISV’s Teddy Nicolosi.

From fleet racing to team racing, Morrell’s Men in Crocs team won the silver fleet at the CJ Buckley team racing event in Rhode Island, the US National Junior Team Racing Championship.

Sailing aboard the J88 Jazz as trimmer/tactician Morrell finished 1st at the Sail Newport Regatta and 3rd at New York Race Week.

Morrell and Duff Claim Victories for the BVI at MLK Regatta

Photo courtesy of Royal BVI Yacht ClubTen BVI sailors raced in the MLK Regatta in St Thomas over the weekend of 9-10 January with two days of light, shifty and unpredictable wind.  It was a strong, sportsman-like performance from all of the sailors with the newest addition to the race team showing that he will be one to watch for the future.

Club 420
Sam Morrell, competing in the Club 420 fleet, sailed nine races winning one on the second day. Most results from Morrell and his crew placed him at the top of the fleet, easing into a first place victory overall.

Optimist Championship Fleet
Rayne Duff, competing in the Championship Fleet, sailed a total of 10 races with results ranging from first to mid-fleet. Duff placed first in his age group and second overall, just three points behind his St Thomas rival Mia Nicolosi. Unfortunately on the second day the black flag was raised on the Championship fleet weighing Duff with points he could not drop.

There were highlights from all the sailors in the Championship fleet throughout the two days and two more Team BVI sailors finished in the top 10.  Nathan Haycraft scored two third place finishes after the wind picked up on the second day and finished consistently in the top ten to finish in 8th overall.

Right behind him in 9th overall was Kyle Roose who saved his best to last, roping in two second place finishes and sticking with the top of the fleet on the final day.

Max Reshetiloff tucked a 5th place under his belt on the first day after catching a shift that helped lift him to the windward mark well in front of the pack.  Reshetiloff finished in 15 position overall. Ryan Lettsome weaved his way into a 7th place in one of the races after a tough morning of unpredictable winds. Unfortunately, Lettsome succumbed to the black flag in race 8 which, combined with two OCS scores on day one, put him out of the running and in 18 place overall.

Optimist Green Fleet
Four sailors competed in the Optimist Green fleet and all of them sailed well throughout the regatta.  Top finisher, at his debut regatta off island, was Samuel Allen coming in fourth overall.  Allen not only mastered the challenges of the light and shifty conditions on the first day, he went on to secure first, second and third place finishes on the second day.

Finishing in eighth place overall, Noah George also bucked the trend on the first day by securing two fourth place finishes, a great result for another of our newest racers.  Scott Kirk roped in a sixth place in race nine and sailed with confidence during both days to finish 15 overall. Connor Maccallum also sailed well at his first outing since October, getting a ninth as his best score and 16 overall.

In total the BVI had five racers in the Opti Championship fleet, four racers in the Opti Green fleet, and one in the club 420 fleet. Many thanks to St Thomas Yacht Club for organizing a wonderful event, The Moorings for providing the team with a ride and a place to rest up and all the parents for their help..

The next regatta for Team BVI is the Puerto Rico International Dinghy Regatta in San Juan from 4 to 7 February.

Sam Morrell wins Smythe Trophy

Sam Morrell (pictured  right ) wins the single handed Smythe Trophy at the 2015 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships. Photo: Provided

Sam Morrell (pictured right) wins the single handed Smythe Trophy at the 2015 Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships. Photo: Andy Morrell

BVI’s 16-year old Sam Morrell competing at the 2015 Chubb US Junior Sailing Championships, won the Smythe Trophy U.S. Junior Single handed Championship which was sailed in the Byte CII fleet.

The event, which took place in Cape Cod from August 2 -6, 2015, was hosted by the Wianno Yacht Club, Osterville, Massachusetts.

Approximately 100 of the U.S.A.’s top youth sailors competed for the renowned Smythe Trophy, Bemis Trophy, and Sears Cup in single handed, double handed, and quadruple handed competition.

The battle for the Smythe Trophy came down to the wire, as leader Sam Morrell (Redhook, USVI) tried to hold on to his one-point lead over Joseph Hou (Newport Beach, Calif.).

“I tried to match race him today to the bottom half of the fleet,” explained Morrell. “On the downwind he passed me and other boats, but he finished sixth and couldn’t place worse than fifth in order to pass me for the lead in the standings.”

Morrell went on to win the championship by just two points. He finished strong on Wednesday with three consecutive wins.

Hou dashed out to an early lead in this fleet on Monday by winning the first four races of the championship.

Morrell, who placed third last year, said “I trained really hard this year. The conditions were better for me here. Everything started to break my way, especially at the end of the regatta. The first half of the regatta I was trying to re-learn the Byte. I’m really stoked to win and Joe is such a good sailor.”

As the winner of the single handed event, Morrell will earn early acceptance to the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships should he decide to apply.

Morrell, placed third in last year’s Smythe Championships in Michigan. He has also represented the BVI in the 2014 Youth Olympics in China.

Final Standings: Top 5
1. Sam Morrell, St. Thomas Yacht Club, 5-2-3-2-1-4-1-1-1-[18]- ; 20
2. Joseph Hou, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 1-1-1-1-2-2-5-[7]-3-6- ; 22
3. Gerard Eastman, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, 3-4-9-[10]-7-3-2-4-2-9- ; 43
4. Jack Bitney, Minnetonka Yacht Club, 6-3-2-[18]-5-1-7-5-5-10- ; 44
5. Lucas Pierce, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, 8-6-4-3-3-7-6-9-[12]-2- ; 48

Full results

Watch the Chubb Jr. Championships 2015 Recap

Team BVI Wins Caribbean Dinghy Championships 2013

BVI Sailing Team at Caribbean Dinghy Championships 2013, Antigua: (l-r) Josh Morrell, coach Omari Scott, James Dawson, Matthew Oliver, Rayne Duff, Thad Lettsome.

BVI Sailing Team at Caribbean Dinghy Championships 2013, Antigua: (l-r) Josh Morrell, coach Omari Scott, James Dawson, Matthew Oliver, Rayne Duff, Thad Lettsome.

Consistent sailing saw BVI sailors win the 2013 Caribbean Dinghy Championships held this weekend.  The two day event was raced in Lasers, Zoom, Optimist and Pico dinghies in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.  The event, run under the auspices of the Caribbean Sailing Association, was hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club in conjunction with Antigua’s National Sailing Academy.  The Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI National Sailing Federation sponsored the BVI team.
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Junior sailor, Sam Morrell to represent BVI at Youth Olympic Games qualifier

Sam Morrell, junior BVI sailor

Sam Morrell, junior BVI sailor

Sam Morell is attending the Byte CII World Championships in Newport, RI from August 24-28.  This is his first attempt to qualify for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.  The top 5-finishers at The World’s will gain automatic entry into the 2014 YOG.

Sam has been sailing & training with the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY all Summer.  Summer training included a multiple of regattas on Long Island Sound.  Sam finished on the podium in all of them, with a first place finish in the Shelter Island YC event and a resounding 6th place over all in the JSA Long Island Sound Championships.

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