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Team BVI shines at Martin Luther King Regatta!

Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Rayne Duff led Team BVI, winning the Opti Blue Class for 11-12 year olds in the Martin Luther King Regatta held in St. Thomas, USVI this weekend January 18-19, 2014. Photo: Supplied
Rayne Duff led Team BVI, winning the Opti Blue Class for 11-12 year olds in the Martin Luther King Regatta held in St. Thomas, USVI this weekend January 18-19, 2014. Photo: Supplied
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Thad Lettsome placed third in Opti Blue Class. Photo: Supplied
Thad Lettsome placed third in Opti Blue Class. Photo: Supplied
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
Scene from the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Peter Clarke
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Over the weekend, January 18-19, 2014, young Virgin Islands sailors travelled off island to compete in the Martin Luther King Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands, with Rayne Duff leading a whole host of great results in the Opti Blue class for 11-12 year olds.

Team BVI was represented in 4 classes of boats and 5 divisions at the Regatta and sailing for the first time without the support of their longtime coach Omari Scott, who has now taken up a position in the USA.

The youngest and newest racing sailors, who according to Director of Youth Sailing Development, Brian Duff, are the driving force of all the Royal BVI Yacht Club programmes teaching sailing, took part in what is called the Green Fleet and sailed in the Optimist Dinghy which can be sailed up to 15 yrs of age.

As Duff explained, “This event showed two new and three total green fleet kids representing BVI including Noah Pierce, Hayden Saunders and Max Reshetiloff. The green fleet doesn't focus on scores but the kids all had exceptional races and their enthusiasm is very hog for continuing their development. I hope more kids join soon!”

In the same class of boat but racing on the Opti Champ course out in the rougher waters south of St Thomas, Team BVI was represented by sailors in two age divisions, whilst not having any older kids currently racing opti. In the blue 11-12 age division, Amelie Clark took 4th, Thad Lettsome took 3rd, Sam Child's 2nd and Rayne Duff 1st; all sailors having won one race overall as well.

Nathan's Haycraft took 2nd in the White 10-under division, in very challenging conditions with relatively light winds on lumpy seas.

On the larger boats for older sailors, Matthew Oliver represented well in the Laser class, finishing in 2nd place, having sailed very consistently well.

Duff also made special mention of Sam Morrell, who has moved from Opti to the two-man 420 Class.

“In addition to working hard on his campaign in the Byte class preparing for the youth Olympic Games 2014 and sailing this regatta with Daniel Petrovic as crew, he placed 2nd in the 420 class after 11 races having also taken a first overall in one race.”

Duff also noted that, “The BVI is going through a lot of transition for the racing sailors between aging into new fleets or classes of boats, and having lost their regular coaching for a short time, until the new coach arrives from Ireland, but the young Sailors are persevering and showing they really know their stuff, competing well all on their own and giving a lot of optimism for the year ahead.”

There is much to look forward to in 2014, including the Opti Kids training and preparing for South and North American championships prior to worlds in October and also Sam Morrell continuing his endeavor to represent the Territory at the Youth Olympics this summer. 

Full results from this weekend’s Regatta can be seen at

http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/7586#_newsroom+results

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