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5th Annual BVI DYAS Youth Regatta

Light winds make concentration paramount regardless of whether you are 6 or 23 years old, that’s if you want to win in a sailboat.  Singing ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ with three part harmony backing, helps too!

The BVI Watersports Centre’s tradition of holding a youth regatta sponsored by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports at this time of year, continued on Saturday with an abundance of children and young adults signing up and rigging bright and early to the sounds of Christmas Carols being sung by certain members of the Race Committee.  It should be noted that these persons did not get invited to perform their renditions at the HLSCC Christmas Concert later that evening!!

The Green Optimists. All photos by Ed Childs.

35 sailors took part in an expanded menu of classes this year including 3 Optimist divisions, Picos and Laser Radials, together with the traditional finale – The Blood Bath – comically mispronounced by one very young competitor as the ’Bubble Bath’!

With the razor-sharp Race Committee on station led ably by Sue-Ellyn Eldridge and Kay Reddy, and the safety boats on standby crewed by Eben Meyers, Carina Brundenell-Bruce and Danny Petrovic in ‘Big Buddy’, the young sailors cruised the start line.  Speed limits were not going to be broken that day, so time was of the essence; any boat too far from the line would suffer as they climbed up the course navigating the breezes in the entrance to Sea Cows Bay.

35 youth sailors on the water with 15 races plus the Blood Bath completed.  The youngest were included under the new banner of ‘Baby Greens’ and these 5 entrants sailed a condensed course guided by Danny and Eben.  This class was so much fun it will stay as part of the DYAS regatta in future years.  

The most mature of the competitors were seen in the Pico fleet.  HLSCC students having just completed a RYA Level 2 course at the BVIWSC, demonstrated their skills in the singlehanded boats mixing it up congenially with sailors not only half their age, but most definitely half their size! 

 Jaye Noel


Special Olympic BVI sailors were present of course, mostly in the competitive Laser class with healthy rivalry keeping the athletes on their toes in the light conditions, this no more apparent than between Delroy Gordon and non-SO sailor Jaye Noel.  Just one week ago Delroy had led Jaye around the course in the West End YC’s Gustav Wilmerding Race and taken first place – this week Jaye was determined to reverse the results – he succeeded but only after employing the rules determining a tie breaker situation!

Prize Giving is always a lot of fun at the DYAS Christmas Regatta not least of which because the Blood Bath results are deliberately left till last as this is the race with the most intrigue surrounding it.  17 boats started together and included Optimists, Picos and Laser Radials; they were given an elapsed time across the water before the results were scrutinized by the computer software that takes into account the Portsmouth Yardstick Handicap rating of the individual boat.  All this enables the slow to compete on level terms with the fast and as usual produce a winner that was not necessarily the first to cross the finish line!

Sam Childs

Abayomi Maddox – veteran Optimist sailor who was to also win her class in the Pico division this year, turned out to be the overall winner of the Blood Bath race.  This now will see her name written twice on the perpetual trophy, as she was the recipient in 2008.

The prizes themselves were very unique this year with each one being handmade by Green VI, a local not-for-profit organisation, focusing on environmental issues within the British Virgin Islands. Green VI’s initial project is a Glass Studio that will recycle glass waste from the Cane Garden Bay area. Four apprentices are being trained by Green VI in the art of glass blowing. Sailboat pendants for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed competitors were handmade by one of the Green VI apprentices, Travas Jack.

A new perpetual trophy was offered this year in memory of the Centre’s friend and Founding Trustee – Guy Eldridge. This will be given each year to the individual that has shown the most dedication to giving back to the sport of sailing at the BVIWSC.  Sue-Ellyn Eldridge, Principal Race Officer of the day and Guy’s wife presented the trophy, fashioned from a piece of timber saved from the wreck of a Tortola Sloop ‘Joyce L’ built by Edward Frett.  Jaye Noel – RYA Assistant Instructor, will have his name engraved as the original recipient.

Finally, before a huge chocolate birthday cake was produced courtesy of the Munro family for Jaye’s 17th birthday, Jasper Zanon was recognized as the Green Fleeter that tried the longest to complete his course.  He was the last to retire from the Blood Bath and rewarded with a large bag of Candy! Delroy Gordon topped the SOBVI Sailors and added to his stash of awards a special trophy to increase his growing collection.

Thanks go to all, but in particular to Mark Wollner from ‘Island Time’ who very generously donated one of his fleet of RIB’s to the regatta.

1    Erin Williams
2    Dominic Munro
3    Luca Reich
4    Ella Tekeli
5    Grace Reich

1    Ryoko Skelton
2    Jahmoi Albert
3    Shelcy Hodge
4    Liam Bates
5    Jasper Zanon
6    Nicole Munro
7    Jasper Forte

1    Sam Childs
2    William Adamson
3    Jacques Liergard
4    William Richards
5    Lincoln Zanon

1    Abayomi Maddox
2    Nyron Erickson
3    Shamal Smith
4    Anthony George
5    Andre Marchant
6    Trevor Johnson
7    Mareq Romney / Akeem David

Abayomi Maddox

1    Jaye Noel
2    Delroy Gordon
3    Lenford Pope
4    Glenford Gordon

Delroy Gordon

1    Abayomi Maddox        PICO    
2    Delroy Gordon        LASER RADIAL
3    Jaye Noel            LASER RADIAL
4    Sam Childs            OPTIMIST
5    Lenford Pope        LASER RADIAL
6    Trevor Johnson        PICO
7    Jahmoi Albert        OPTIMIST
8    Ryoko Skelton        OPTIMIST
9    Glenford Gordon        LASER RADIAL
10    Andre Marchant        PICO
11    William Adamson        OPTIMIST
12    Shelcy Hodge        OPTIMIST
13    Shamal Smith        PICO
14    Nyron Erickson        PICO
15    Anthony George        PICO
16    Mareq / Akeem        PICO
17    Jasper Zanon        OPTIMIST

Blood Bath top sailors.

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