Following a fantastic weekend of very competitive, well managed racing on the water and a lot of fun off the water, the team from Trinidad and Tobago were victorious at this weekend’s Caribbean Dinghy Championship (CDC) held at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
The Trinidad and Tobago team cleared first place with 88 points, a 14 point lead to runners up Barbados with 102 points and a close fought battle for third by the British Virgin Islands (BVI’s) Team who totaled 104 points.
The CDC is a unique team event which saw six teams, thirty sailors with their coaches and six nations which included Anguilla, St Bart’s and host nation Sint Maarten, battle it out across four classes: RS Vision, Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Optimist.
Teams can be a mixture of youth and adults and it is a great event for aspiring Caribbean athletes needing race experience as well as a relaxed and fun shore side event.
The class winners were: In RS Vision: Alec Scarabelli and Carson Gifford of Sint Maarten, who tied with the Trinidadian team but won the tie breaker; Andrew Lewis in Laser Standard from Trinidad and Tobago; in Laser Radial: Alec Anderson from the BVI; and in Optimist, twelve year old Nathan Haycraft from the BVI’s.
Off the water the teams enjoyed food at the St Maarten Yacht Club, a pig roast on Kim Sha Beach, a Dominos Pizza party and a final prize giving on Sunday back at the Yacht Club. Main organizer and Coach Neil Maher of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club said of the event, “It was the perfect culmination of my four years hard work at the Yacht Club. All the teams had a great weekend and we were delighted with the overall event.”
Of the Caribbean Dinghy Championship, Chris Haycraft, proud father of Nathan Haycraft and board member of the Caribbean Sailing Association and a member of the Sailing Development committee said, “For some years there has been some debate at the CSA as to the validity of this event. Because it moved venues most years and we are a volunteer organization as are many sailing organizations, it can be difficult to ensure all the pieces are in place to get the teams to the event. Cost is usually a factor and we were delighted this year to secure sponsorship from Liat, the Caribbean airline, which enabled us to assist each island with some flights. The mix of ages and classes makes this a standout event which I can see going from strength to strength.”
A huge thank you to Liat, the Caribbean Airline for their assistance with flights as well as Sint Maarten sponsors Buccaneer Beach Bar, St. Maarten Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant, FIJI Water and ILTT, Domino’s Pizza, Cafe Atlantico, Zee Best Bakery, Bob Hilbert Sportswear and Australian Gold sunscreen.