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Sailors from 10 nations compete in Regatta

-VI based Rayne Duff adjudged the overall winner
A total of 81 sailors competed in the Advanced Red, Blue and White Fleets and beginner Green Fleet at the 22ndInternational Optimist Regatta last weekend, hosted by the St Thomas Yacht Club and won overall by Rayne Duff. Photo: Provided
The Virgin Islands had a total of 7 sailors in the competition, VI Coach Rob Lind said. Photo: Provided
The Virgin Islands had a total of 7 sailors in the competition, VI Coach Rob Lind said. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - A total of 81 sailors competed in the Advanced Red, Blue and White Fleets and beginner Green Fleet at the 22nd International Optimist Regatta last weekend, hosted by the St Thomas Yacht Club and won overall by Rayne Duff.

The Advanced Fleets completed 10 races and the Green Fleet a total of 18 races over the three days of competition. Sailors hailed from 10 nations – Antigua, Argentina, the Virgin Islands (VI), Cayman Islands, Germany, Puerto Rico, Spain, the Netherlands, U.S.A, and all three islands of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). 

Shifting strategies to match wind speed and direction, staying out in front of the fleet and remaining calm proved a successful ploy for 11-year-old Rayne Duff. Rayne won the 22nd International Optimist Regatta (IOR).

At the conclusion of Sunday’s final two races, the Tortola, VI based sailor continued to lengthen his lead and comfortably finished with 33 points separating him from his closest competition. That’s quite a feat considering the keen level of competition in the 59-boat Advanced Optimist fleet and wind conditions blowing a brisk 10 to 15 knots, plus higher in gusts. 

“I still need to work on my starts,” says Rayne who along with Thad Lettsome and Nathan Haycraft will be representing the VI in the Optimist North American Championships, in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, July 9 to 16, 2014. “But being consistent, in the top three in every race, is really what helped.”

Rayne not only won the overall championship, but also the 11- and 12-year-old Blue Fleet.
 
The VI had a total of 7 sailors in the competition, VI Coach Rob Lind said, “the BVI team sailed really well and we were very proud of all of them, especially of course Rayne.” 

Nathan Haycraft came second in the 10 and under White Fleet – 35th overall. Thad Lettsome in 11 and 12 year old Blue Fleet was the 2nd Best BVI Boat and 19th overall. Sam Childs finished 25th overall, James Dawson 36th overall and Amelie Clark 39th. Anya Reshetiloff competed in Green Fleet.

The week started off with the Sea Star Clinic, run by local coaches and coaches from OptiSailors.com, and included the one-day Sea Star Team Race. The BVI team sailors were Rayne Duff, James Dawson, Thad Lettsome and Nathan Haycraft.  They won 3 of their 5 heats qualifying for the semi-finals; they ended up with 4th place.

The team race was won by STYC 1, made up of Teddy Nicolosi, Christopher Sharpless, Mateo DiBlasi and Robert Hunter.

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