The weather did not look promising on August 17 but that did not dampen the excitement of the 20 junior sailors from the villages of Gouyave and Woburn and the sister isle of Carriacou, who gathered with their coaches and a group of enthusiastic volunteers from the sailing community at Le Phare Bleu Marina in Petite Calivigny Bay on the south coast of Grenada.
This was the day they had been preparing for to participate in the trials for a place on the Grenada Junior Sailing Team, which would attend the Caribbean Dinghy Championships to be held in Antigua during Caribbean Sailing Week in October.
After a slow start hampered by damp and dreary weather, Kevin Banfield, the GSA World Sailing coach, set the courses and the Optimists and Lasers were launched from the beach.
Due to limited availability of equipment, the group of 14 Optimist sailors and six (6) Laser Radial sailors split into two (2) groups.
The race officials kicked off the first races for group one (1) with 10 junior sailors eagerly sailing around the bay.
The rain disappeared and the winds picked up. After a short break for lunch, the second group had their turn and impressed the race officials just as much as the first group.
The youngest sailor was aged 11 and the oldest aged 18. They all relished this opportunity to show off their skills, learnt at the local sailing clubs in Gouyave, Woburn and Carriacou.
A total of 12 races were completed in the first heats – six (6) for the Optimist sailors and six (6) for the Laser sailors.
After a short break the top six (6) sailors in the Optimist class and the top (3) sailors in the Laser Radial class went back out on the water for the final 3 races in each class.
The excitement mounted as the junior sailors honed their skills out on the water. After 18 races in total and some close finishes, the officials had the final scores of the day.
The Grenada Sailing Week organisers would like to congratulate all the junior sailors for their perseverance in learning sailing and for their participation in these trials.
The results of the final races are:
1.Shamon Henry (13)– Gouyave
2. Tavell Bernadine (14) – Gouyave
3. Tyrell John (14) – Woburn
4. Elleje Bernard (12)– Woburn
5. Brent Edmund (13) – Carriacou
6. Jamar Bruno (14) – Woburn
1. Trevell James (18) – Gouyave
2. Kyle Bedeau (17) – Woburn
3. Reshawn Babb (16) – Woburn
The Grenada Sailing Association said it will provide additional training between now and October for these talented sailors and choose a final team of two (2) Optimist sailors and two (2) Laser Radial sailors to attend the Caribbean Dinghy Championships nearer the date.
According to Grenada Sailing Week officials, sailing is a sport for all. It inherently teaches all elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths).
Sailing is unlike other sports, it’s more than just skill and strategy, it teaches values, such as self-reliance and responsibility for one’s actions that shape sailors into the unique athletes they are, and develops well-rounded individuals.
Sailing fosters an appreciation and understanding of nature which helps create a culture of value and preservation of our environment. It must also be noted that sailing as a sport can be a gateway to employment within the fast-growing yachting sector in Grenada and the wider Caribbean region.