Jaleel Croal runs sub 20 PB in Cali 2021 200m finals. 3×3 basketball team perform valiantly against top teams

Virgin Islands sprinter Jaleel Croal delivered a PB of 20.93 in the 200m finals at the Cali 2021 Junior Panam Games – his first major Games and season opener.

Pitching his speed against faster and older runners in the race, Jaleel did well to pull out all the stops to run sub 21 and place 5th. The new time smashes his previous PB of 21.10 achieved at the end of last  season.

“When I got on the track my main goal was to have fun and run a 21 so after a nice start and execution and finish and a 20.93 – even though I came 5th – I was the happiest man on the track at that moment. There’s more to come and I already marked the guys’ faces!” said Jaleel.

Speaking after the race, Coach Ralston “Grandfather” Henry said, “This is the peak time of season for the sprinters from Ecuador and Brazil and to see him come and run that fast with them is a major accomplishment!”

Jaleel already qualified for the World Athletics U20 Championships with his semi-finals time of 21.24 and he will be back at the same stadium for the event next August 1 – 6.

The medals in the Cali 2021 200m went to Anderson Marquinez (Ecuador, 20.51), Lucas Vilar (Brazil, 20.59) and Lucas Rodrigues Da Silva (Brazil,20.68).

Jaleel and Coach Grandfather return home to the BVI on Saturday, December 4.

The 3×3 basketball team comprising Shakeem Tyson, Michael Richardson, D’/Andre Mitchum and Stephano Paul played their final group game against Venezuela on December 3. The team gave everything they had and put up a much improved performance with contributions from all of them. While they ultimately lost 22-11 they remained very much in touch with their strong opposition until the halfway point when Venezuela showed their class and pulled away. Since that match, Venezuela went on to beat Puerto Rico (in their final group game) and then beat Brazil in the quarter finals. 

“After initially losing out 21-5 to Puerto Rico in their first match to only a day later be pushing Venezuela in a much closer affair shows how far the team has come in such a short amount of time,” said Chef de Mission Adam Murrills. “It also shows a strong mentality in their ability to problem-solve, adapt, work together and improve throughout what has been the BVI’s first International Competition for Basketball since 2010!

“Having spoken with the guys I know that they’re proud (and rightly so!) of how they performed and how they improved throughout the tournament and they’re keen to push on after this and hopefully experience more International Competition in the future!”

President Ephraim Penn who has attended the competitions from the start of the Games was impressed with the level of application and incremental improvement of all athletes and more so with the camaraderie and supportive attitude of the athletes from the different sports ensuring to attend the matches or watch live where physical attendance was not possible.

“The athletes and coaches all arrived as separate teams but as they leave these Games, they depart with a sense of one BVI team which is a very rewarding result in itself,” said President Penn.

“On behalf of the BVIOC, I congratulate Jaleel on setting a new PB coming off the blocks of the final at his first major Games. That he achieved this at the start of the season and racing against more experienced and older sprinters in the middle of their season is all them more exciting for what we can expect to see from him in 2022. Congratulations also to the 3×3 Basketball team who have done a remarkable job of holding their own in new territory. Thank you to the National Federations, their athletes and especially to their coaches, Ralston  “Grandfather” Henry, track and field coach and 2nd Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee and to Coach West for Basketball for committing to and executing admirable performances at these inaugural Panam Junior Games.”

Thad Lettsome, who is based at Lake Calima with his coach, Chris Watters finished the 2nd day of the regatta with a 7th and 6th place for an overall 6thplace at the start of the final set of races in the one-person ILCA7 laser today, Saturday December 4. 

Coach Watters described the second day of competition as a “tough day”.

“It was cranking windy and we were closer to shore. The guys in 1st and 2nd place are in a race of their own; they have a good 15lbs on Thad. It’ll be a major focus for him moving forward. That and the downwind in heavy breeze flat water,” said Coach Watters. “He’s still not bad shape in the regatta. 6th overall but only 1 point from 5th. Bit of a gap to the medals but there’s some protests for 3/4 going on so we’re not out of it!”

The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 5 after which the  3×3 team and BVI delegation will return home to the VI while Thad will return to Tulane University, New Orleans and Coach Watters to Florida.

9 athletes to represent Virgin Islands in 4 sports at inaugural Junior PanAm Games in Cali-Valle, Colombia

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) has confirmed that 9 athletes will represent the Virgin Islands in 4 sports at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games which will take place in Cali-Valle, Colombia, November 25 – December 5, 2021.

The VI team comprising 1 sailor, 3 track athletes, 1 squash player and 4 basketball players will start to arrive into Colombia from November 24 ahead of the opening ceremony on November 25 and their events starting November 26. Chef de Mission and squash coach, Adam Murrills will be in Cali in advance of the athletes in preparation of their arrival.

“I have been working closely with the National Federations and the coaches confirming the athletes’ participation at Cali 2021 and ensuring that all processes are completed,” said Murrills. “I attended the Chef de Missions’ seminar in Cali in September and am satisfied that our athletes will be comfortably accommodated and will have the opportunity to settle in and train ahead of their events.”

The first athletes to qualify for Cali 2021 were sailor Thad Lettsome, who made his first major Games debut at the Lima 2019 Panam Games and swimmer Elinah Phillip, who made her first Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 and competed again at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Unfortunately, Phillip is making a health recovery and will not be able to compete at Cali.

Lettsome will compete in the men’s ILCA 7 single person dinghy on Lake Calima, December 2 – 4.

Making his major Games debut, Luca Reich will be the first athlete to compete at Cali 2021 when he faces his squash opponents at Club Campestre de Cali, November 26 – 27.

The 3 track athletes who are all competing at their first major Games are sprinters Rikkoi Brathwaite (100m and 200m), Jaleel Croal (200m) and Zara Brown (100m). The 100m races take place November 30 – December 1 and the 200m events take place at the Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero, Santiago de Cali, December 2 – 3.

The VI will be represented in basketball at a major Game For the first time since appearing at the CAC Games in 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. D’Andre Mitcham, Stephano Paul, Michael Richardson, and Shakeem Tyson have been selected to form the 3×3 basketball team competing at the Pan American Courts in Cali, December 2 – 5.

BVIOC President Ephraim Penn, who was elected as a member of the Panam Sports Technical Commission in April 2021, will also be in attendance at the Games.

“This is the second major Games since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held last summer and we are excited for our junior athletes who will be taking to the international stage. For the majority of athletes representing the VI at these Games, this will be the first time competing for their country,” said BVIOC President Ephraim Penn. “At the start of the pandemic, the region’s NOCs were uncertain as to when the inaugural Junior PanAm Games would be held until the commitment was made by Cali to move the dates from June 2021 to the end of the year. We have embraced the opportunity presented to our young athletes who have their eyes on the future including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the 2023 Panam Games and the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

The Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games is a pathway to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympic Games with gold medalists gaining automatic qualification to Santiago 2023.

The VI delegation to Cali 2021 also includes, Lloyd Black (Secretary General, BVIOC), coaches Chris Watters (sailing), Ralston Henry (athletics), Trevor Stevens (basketball) and physiotherapist, Levi James.

3,500 athletes from 41 countries will compete in 39 sports across 10 days of nonstop action which will be broadcast live and direct on the Panam Sports Channel and on CBN Television Channel 101 beginning with the Opening Ceremony on November 25 and concluding when the curtain is lowered on the Games at the Closing Ceremony on December 5.

Follow the BVIOC on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter for regular updates and results.

Athlete performances at Tokyo 2020 Olympics brings BVI in sight of podium – BVIOC seeks investment into elite athletes

The British Virgin Islands was represented by 3 athletes in 2 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which concluded on August 8 with a closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. The small team comprising Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Chantel Malone (long jump) and Elinah Phillip (50m freestyle) was the strongest set to represent the territory at any Olympic Games.

Eldred Henry (shot put) was the first athlete to have qualified for Tokyo 2020 but he was forced to pull out due to an injury in his throwing arm.

In a Game of firsts for the territory, McMaster and Malone became the BVI’s first 2 athletes to advance to the finals to compete amongst the world’s best athletes in their events. They each were the first athletes to compete in the hurdles and long jump respectively. McMaster was the first athlete to win his heats and the first to make the top 4 finalists to cross the line with his time of 47.08 – current 4th fastest time and the world’s 8th fastest time ever – in what has been classed as the event’s fastest Olympic race. McMaster and Phillip also set National Records with Phillip’s time of 25.74 marking her as the top Caribbean performer in the 50m Free.

Harrigan-Scott, a three-times Olympian and the first female to represent the BVI at the Olympics in 2008, led the organisation and management of the team at the Games.

Speaking at a wrap up virtual press conference on August 4 after the final competition for the BVI, Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee congratulated and thanked the athletes, their coaches and National Federations and also acknowledged the efforts of the Chef de Mission and Lloyd Black, Secretary General for the BVIOC, who was the COVID Liaison Officer for the delegation.

Penn went on to explain that the impressive results of the team at the Games was many years in the making that required planning and funding to support the athletes in their training and preparations for the Games. He highlighted that the performances put the athletes as serious podium contenders in upcoming Games and that the opportunity was open to the private sector to support the pathway to get athletes to the finals and ultimately to the podium of the Olympics.

“The athletes have been preparing for these Games for 5 years and are recipients of an Olympic Scholarship which offers financial and technical support so they can train and compete at qualifying meets for the Olympics. In addition, the BVIOC set up an Elite Athlete scholarship which puts money into the hands of the athletes to ease their financial stress so that they can concentrate on preparing for competition. Their successes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will make it easier for us to try and solicit more funding from the private sector and bolster the structure we have in place to support them so they can develop to the best of their ability.”

The Chef de Mission, who is responsible for the organisation and logistical management of the delegation as well as the technical aspects of the athletes’ competitions and daily schedules and activities while at the Games, reviewed the athletes’ performances and acknowledged the commitment of their coaches and support of the BVIOC and encouraged a forward movement to help the athletes reach their potential.

“While our athletes may come from a small nation where the resources are more limited than larger countries, they come to compete with the same heart, talent and dedication so if we can figure out a way to level the playing field and really invest in them, you will be surprised at where they can take us because they are at that level and they are exceptionally good.”

Harrigan-Scott wrapped up the experience with a reflection on the organisation of the Games. “It actually was an amazing Games and the organisers, volunteers and Government of Japan did an incredible job under the constraints and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad the Games were not cancelled as the athletes were ready to compete and we have seen some exceptional performances here.”

Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, MHA. Deputy Premier Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, who was in Japan to witness the finals, congratulated the athletes on their achievements and thanked them and the delegation for their roles in the success of the BVI’s appearance at Tokyo 2020 and to pledge more support for the athletes.

“We now understand what it takes to compete at this level and I will be focused on what we can do to assist more. We know that we have to invest more in sports and be more consistent in our support for our athletes and I will be working on this in consultation with the BVIOC,” said Dr. the Honourable Minister Wheatley.

In addition to the 3 athletes, the Chef de Mission, Ephraim Penn and Lloyd Black the BVI delegation included Team Coach Winston Potter, Coach Lennox Graham (McMaster), Coach Dwight Phillips (Malone), Coach Brien Moffitt (Elinah) and Sofia Fay, BVIOC PRO/Reporter.

The athletes, including Henry who is on the road to recovery, will continue with their training and preparations for upcoming competitions after a short rest and recovery break. A return date to the BVI is not yet confirmed based on their training and competition schedules. Malone and McMaster have sights on competing at the Diamond League events in Europe in August and September respectively.

Mixed results for athletes at U20 Pan American Track & Field Championships

Source: VINO

Team BVI returned from the Pan American U20 Track and Field Championships, held in Peru. Photo: VINO

The recently concluded Pan American U20 Track and Field Championships, held in Peru, at Trujillo’s Chan Chan stadium, on July 21 – 23, 2017, provided a mix bag of results for the young Virgin Island athletes.

Team BVI were led, results wise by Shaniya Caul and L’tsha Fahie, with Caul running 24.90 seconds to place 8th in the 200m girls final and Fahie finishing the 100m in 7th with a time of 11.92.

Caul reached the final with a time of 24-93, whilst L’Tsha Fahie had a non-qualifying time of 25.69.

Rikkoi Brathwaite and Johnta Charles had non-progressing times of 21.98 and 22.52 respectively in the boys 200m heats.

Brathwaite had a time of 10.72 in the 100m final. Kala Penn had a best of 5.54 for 10th in the long jump.

“The athletes could all have done better,” commented Coach Dag Samuels. “Fahie for example was a little down after her 100m showing and should have progressed in the 200m. Caul too missed out on on the 400m and then ran her heart out in the 2. Kala (Penn) was also a little flat on the day, but in the Triple Jump she put in a new PB of 13.12m.. Overall the team performed above average and although missing out on podium finishes, I am proud of their performances.”

The final day of action also witnessed four championship records.

Adriana Rodríguez tallied 5733 points (13.37, 1.72m, 12.04m, 24.00, 6.00m, 35.31m, 2:28.50) in the heptathlon. Mexican Alegna González broke the meeting standard in the 10,000m race walk with 44:43.89 to win by more than a minute. Eric van der Els of the US won the 1500m in 3:43.16. And in the women’s 4x400m, the US squad –Syaira Richardson, Jaevin Reed, Arria Minor, and Takyera Roberson– won by nearly five seconds in 3:28.57, also a 2017 world U20 lead.

In addition, Jamal Walton of the Cayman Islands, fourth at the 2015 IAAF World U18 Championships, marked a special return to South American soil with an impressive 44.99 win in 400m, eclipsing the 10-year old championship record and becoming the 16th teenager in history to break the 45-second barrier.

Full results of Team BVI at 2017 CARIFTA Games

By BVI Athletics Association

BVI Athletes at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Carifta Games April 15th - April 17th, 2017 in Curacao. Photo: BVIAA

BVI Athletes at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Carifta Games April 15th – April 17th, 2017 in Curacao. Photo: BVIAA

The British Virgin Islands Athletics Association results of performances during the Easter at the 46th Flow Carifta Games April 15th – April 17th, 2017 in Curacao as follows:-

DJIMON GUMBS Shot Put, Discus – Double Silver medalist

Established a new Youth National Record of 17.58m having broken the previous record of 17.20m which was held by him. He did the same in the discus establishing a new National Youth Record of 60.43m.

AKIRA PHILLIP Javelin – Silver Medalist

Improved in her throw of 44.63m and earned a New National Junior and Senior record; old record of 41.70 m established by Britney Peters

KALA PENN Triple Jump

Bronze in the Triple Jump with a leap of 12.73m



Javelin – Bronze medalist

Threw 41.90m to break her own National Youth Record.

Establish a new National Youth Jr. and Senior record in the Heptathlon with 4197 points

Bronze medalist 4 X 400 u20 Girls – Team consisted of Shaniyah Caul, L’T’Sha Fahie, Kala Penn and Sh’Kaida Lavacia.

4 X 400 U18 Boys established a National Youth Record with a time of 3:24.67 and placed 6th overall – Team consisted of Joshua Hill, Rackeel Jack, Jelani Norman and Malik John.

4 X 400 U18 girls placed 4th overall. Team consisted of Tashira Edwards, Zara Brown, Akrisa Eristee, and Beyonce Defreitas.

Other finalist as follows:-
Diamante Gumbs – U18 Shot Put – 4th; Discus – 8th
Tashira Edwards – U18 400m – 6th overall
Beyonce Defreitas – U18 200m – 6th overall
Kala Penn – U20 Long Jump – 4th overall
Rikkoi Brathwaite – U20 100m – 5th overall
L’T’Sha Fahie – U20 100m – 6th overall
Shaniyah Caul – U20 400m – 6th overall
4 X 400m U20 boys consisting of K’Cei Moses, Deron Leslie, Gevon Smith and Johnt’a Charles finished 4th overall
Team Officials –
Ralston Henry – Head Coach, Omar Jones, Carl Barrett, Jennifer King, Burt Dorsette, Chantal Scatliffe and Doug Arter

The BVIAA extends continued appreciation to the 2017 Sponsors of the BVI National Team to the Flow 46th Carifta Games. Major sponsors BVI Olympic Committee. Additional sponsors: Ministry of Education and Culture, DYAS, SOL, FLOW, Kenny Tees, Digicel, Johnny Hassan, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, Colonial Insurance

The 2018 Carifta Games will be held in the Bahamas.

Podium finishes for BVI at 2017 CARIFTA Games

Source: BVINews

Djimon Gumbs won silver in U18s Shot Put and Discuss Throw. Akira Phillip took silver in U20 Javelin Throw at 2017 CARIFTA. Photo: FLOW

D’Jimon Gumbs won silver in U18s Shot Put and Discuss Throw. Akira Phillip took silver in U20 Javelin Throw at 2017 CARIFTA. Photo: FLOW

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has earned a total of six medals at the 2017 CARIFTA Games, which ended April 17 at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Curaçao.

D’Jimon Gumbs copped two silver medals and Akira Phillip earned one to top the territory’s performance at the event. The BVI also bagged three bronze medals.

All of the medals – except one – were mined in field events – Discuss Throw, Shot Put, Triple Jump, and Javelin Throw.

Gumbs earned a silver each in the Under-18 Boys Shot Put as well as the Discuss Throw.

In the Discuss, he threw 60.43 metres to finish ahead of Jamaica’s Cobe Graham who won bronze with 52.71 metres. Another Jamaican, Daniel Cope, won the gold medal in this event with a new championship record of 61.25 metres.

And, in the Shot Put, Gumbs reached 17.58 metres to win silver. Graham from Jamaica picked up a second bronze (17.33 metres), and Cope from Jamaica hit another championship record with 18.17 metres.

The BVI picked up its third silver medal when Phillip made her presence felt in the Under-20 Girls Javelin Throw. It covered 44.63 metres. The gold medal went to Sah-Jay Stevens of Jamaica (45.10 metres), while the bronze was received by Trinidad and Tobago’s Asha James (43.24 metres).

Meanwhile, in relation to the BVI’s bronze medals, Kala Penn earned one in the Girls Under-20 Triple Jump, with a measurement of 12.73 metres. Tissanna Hickling from Jamaica got silver (12.87 metres), while Natricia Hooper from Guyana won the gold medal with a leap of 13.08 metres.

The only track event in which the BVI medalled is the Under-20 Girls’ 4X400 Metre Relay. The team of Shaniyah Caul, L’T’Sha Fahie, Kala Penn, and Sh’Kaida Lavacia completed the race in third position with a time of 3:53.04. The silver medal went to Bahamas (3:50.38), while Jamaica won gold with a time of 3:37.96.

Arianna Hayde delivered the BVI’s other bronze performance when she competed in the Girls Under-18 Javelin Throw with 41.90 metres. Trinidad and Tobago’s Kymoi Norai finished with the silver (44.98 metres), while Latia Saunders from the Bahamas earned the gold medal with 45.29 metres.

Jamaica won the 2017 CARIFTA Games, which took place from April 15 to 17.

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

HLSCC & ESHS Students Win Archery Cup in Nevis


HLSCC & ESHS Students that made up Team BVI to win Archery Cup in Nevis. Photo: Virgin Islands Archers Association

HLSCC & ESHS Students that made up Team BVI to win Archery Cup in Nevis. Photo: Virgin Islands Archers Association

With an amazing win, the five member team representing the BVI claimed the victory cup in an archery competition held in Nevis over the weekend. Hosted by the Nevis Archery Association, the competition commenced on Saturday 17th December, and concluded on Sunday 18th December, 2016.

The BVI team was comprised of three students from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, one student from the Elmore Stoutt High School, and instructor Ms. Winette Lawrence.

The Nevis and BVI team competed in four categories which included target shoot distances of 15 meters, 30 meters, Federal-50 meters, and Field shoots that involved shooting at targets from varying heights while traveling through the bushy area at Mount Travers, Nevis.

Team BVI’s unique bow and arrow skills landed 4 gold medals, 3 silver medals, 2 bronze medals and the Nevis Challenge Cup. Individual awards were received by

Adriel Singh (HLSCC) – 1st Place – 30 meters, 1st Place -15 meters

Jahmaine Liburd (HLSCC) – 2nd Place – 30 meters, 2nd Place – 15 meters

Teandra Donovan (HLSCC) – 3rd Place – 30 meters

Shaniah Daignauth (ESHS) – 3rd Place – 15 meters

Winette Lawrence (Instructor) – 2nd place – 50 meters, 1st Place – 15 meters, and 1st Place – Field Shoot

BVI Archery Association President, Mr. Patrick Smith said, “the past weekend event provided a much needed opportunity to see how the team would perform under pressure now that we preparing for a rating event in Salinas Puerto Rico next year. From this regional competition, we can now see exactly where we are and what we need to work on for our next competition. Certainly, you’ll be hearing about us again as they continue to “pull ‘em back and let ‘em fly!”

The next tournament is the Juan Enrico Barrios Cup in Puerto Rico, at the end of April.

Team BVI Podium Finishes in St Maarten and St Thomas


Team BVI finish third at Caribbean Dinghy Championships with two class wins. Photo: Provided

Team BVI finish third at Caribbean Dinghy Championships with two class wins. Photo: Provided

Six teams fought it out for the title of 2016 Caribbean Dinghy Champions in St Maarten this weekend. Teams were made up of five sailors with their combined results in the Laser, Laser Radial, Optimist and RS Vision deciding the winners. As defending champions Team BVI were the nation to beat.

Nathan Haycraft achieved a clean sweep of first place finishes to secure a clear victory in the Optimist class whilst Alec Anderson in the Laser Radial also claimed the overall win with nine wins from the eleven race series. Fortunes were not so good for Mike Hirst in the Laser or Chris Haycraft and son Nici in the RS Vision, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Trinidad and Tobago emerged as overall winners with 88 points, Barbados finished second with 102 points and the BVI were third with 104 points.

Next up for Team BVI will be the St Croix International Regatta in November.

Over in St Thomas, teams from the BVI and Puerto Rico joined the ISV sailors for the 2016 Columbus Day regatta.

Winds were light for most of the weekend, occasionally sneaking above 10 knots, giving the sailors tricky shifty conditions on the water.

Samuel Allen took an emphatic first place in the Optimist Green Fleet with seven race wins in the 12 race series. Kael Chalwell finished in sixth place with consistent finishes throughout the weekend and best scores of third in races seven and eight.

Competing at their first away regatta, Victoria Rowlette finished in eighth place and Amanda Plaxton in tenth. Both sailors improved their scores on Sunday after a steady first day. Rowlette’s best finishes were second in race 10 and third in race 12 whilst Plaxton went out on a high with her best results a fifth in the final race.

The Championship fleet of 18 boats completed six races and the BVI’s Rayne Duff finished up in third place. A black flag in the final race was not the end he would have liked and saw him drop from second to third overall.

Max Reshetiloff finished in 14th place overall, saving his best until last with an eighth in the final race. Just seven points behind was white fleet racer Ryan Lettsome who finished up fourth in his age category and 16th overall.

Eleven Club 420s had a close contest throughout the weekend with the overall win going to the ISV’s Christopher Sharpless and BVI sailor Sam Morrell finishing second. Three race wins for Morrell and consistent top four results on his score card were not quite enough to take the overall win which he missed by just two points.

The BVI’s new Laser Team were racing at their first away regatta with four sailors competing for honours in the Laser Radial and one 4.7 sailor. It was a close tussle between Noah George and Stephon Ganga with George taking the win by just one point. Ganga achieved more race wins but George counted first and second place finishes in all races to come out on top. Alex Rambarose finished third and Jerome Parkins fourth.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club acknowledges the parents who got involved over the course of the weekend and thanks The Moorings for their support and providing a catamaran as team accommodation and transportationof the boats and equipment for the sailors.

Optimist Green fleet
1. Samuel Allen
6. Kael Chalwell
8. Victoria Rowlette
10. Amanda Plaxton

Optimist Overall
3. Rayne Duff (3rd red)
14. Max Reshetiloff (6th red)
15. Ryan Lettsome (4th white)

Club 420
2. Sam Morrell

Laser Radial
1. Noah George
2. Stephon Ganga
3. Alex Rambaros
4. Jerome Parkins

Laser 4.7
1. Stephen Ganga

Behind the scenes at Rio 2016 with Elinah Phillip

Elinah Phillip. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip. Photo: BVIOC

Monday was a busy day for Elinah Phiilip, the BVI’s first swimmer in any Olympic Games. With four days to go before competition day, the 16-year old conducted a successful interview in the ESPN studios at the International Broadcasting Center before she headed out to one of the training pools for her midday session with her coach, Benoit Grattepanche.

The venue was busy with swimmers either getting ready for a race that day or working through their competition training routine.  Starting off with warm up exercises pool side, Elinah found a lane and plunged into the water for a couple of laps to loosen her limbs.

Elinah, a year 11 student of Bishops Stortford College and a member of Bishops Stortford Swim Club, alternated her routine from swimming with training aids and resistance bands, to concentrating on form and a few pacing laps.

Elinah Phillip and coach Benoit Grattepanche at the training pool at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip and coach Benoit Grattepanche at the training pool at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Benoit, a French national, is a former competitive swimmer who uses the same training methods he had been coached with to coach Elinah. “It’s a proven method and Elinah has improved on her time since we switched her training regime, on average, shaving off 1 second of her previous performance in the 50m.”

Elinah Phillip training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

The training programme is based on daily goals which are set on results generated by a swim app created by Benoit to help analyse form, style and speed. The carefully planned schedule of exercises will be rolled out over the next few days until competition time on the morning of Friday, August 12.

Elinah will be swimming in Heat 6  – an indication that she has moved up in the ranks. Her performance times set her in the middle range of speed for all the competitors in her category.

In her last pace lap, Elinah puts in a strong performance that pleases both coach and swimmer. After a couple of cool down laps, Elinah exits the water for her post-training session with Team BVI’s physiotherapist, Matt McGrath.

Elinah Phillip at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip with Team BVI physio, Matt McGrath at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

“I feel good,” said Elinah. “I felt strong and comfortable in the last pace lap I did and I’m happy with how this afternoon’s session went. I won’t sleep when I get back because that interferes with my ability to fall asleep at night but I’m going to relax before this evening’s training.”

After three hours of rest, Elinah will return to the training pool where Benoit will be expecting her to put in some hard work before she gets back to Olympic Village for a good night’s sleep.

Elinah Phillip with physio, Matt McGrath and coach Benoit Grattepanche. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip with physio, Matt McGrath and coach Benoit Grattepanche. Photo: BVIOC

Mom, Tracy Bradshaw is at Rio 2016 as Elinah’s chaperone and recalls the story of a four-year old Elinah who, when learning to swim with Kids And the Sea (KATS), would cling to the side wall and refuse to let go telling the instructor that she was “only small and the pool is too deep” for her to stand up in. It would take another year  (and a little reverse psychology) before Elinah finally let go of her fear to end up swimming her way to the Olympics.