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AYC OPTIMIST TEAM WINS IN PUERTO RICO
Saturday 8th February 2014

Daniel Smit (1st Place), River Andrews (3rd Place), Maria Eldridge (injured) and Jalese Gordon (2nd place) showing off their winnings.

Members of Antigua Yacht Club’s Optimist team participated in the Club Nautico de San Juan International Regatta from January 31 to February 2.  The team had tough competition but brought home first, second and third place overall and a total of five trophies, once again making all of us in Antigua very proud.

Coach Magnus Brun attended the regatta with the AYC team and had plenty to say about the event:

‘The whole regatta was in heavy winds around 25 knots.

‘The sailors worked very hard in preparation for each race, checking speed, start line, course number and looking for puffs and wind shifts.

‘On the first day of racing, for race number two the course was changed to include two laps at the outer loop before finishing.  Team Antigua was the only team to see this change in course and did not cross the finish line and stop racing after the first loop as all the other teams did.  All sailors who crossed the finish line after the first loop had two extra points added to their score.

‘Race starts were fairly dominated by the Antiguan sailors and they always had a very good plan for where they wanted to be on the start line when the gun went.  The sailors from Anguilla provided tough competition and were in second place before the last day of racing. In several of the races the Antigua team finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, showing that they really deserved to finish the regatta with all of them at the podium.

The team with coach Magnus Brun.

‘Daniel Smit finished in 1st place, winning the regatta.  Jalese Gordon finished in 2nd place and River Andrews finished in 3rd place.  Maria Eldridge injured her ankle just before the start of the first race of the regatta so was unfortunately unable to participate.  So instead she enthusiastically cheered on the rest of the Antigua team.

‘River Andrews was probably the most impressive young sailor.  Weighing only 35 kilos, he still managed to beat the other much heavy sailors from Puerto Rico and Anguilla, even in the strong winds.

‘The next event the Antigua Yacht Club Optimist team is training for will be held in Martinique from 27 February to 5 March.’

The Team would like to say thank you to the Antigua Yacht Club for the use of equipment, registration fee and t shirts; Mr Karl James for arranging the team bag waiver and LIAT The Caribbean Airline for granting it; Mr Carlo Falcone for giving us the room for briefing and debriefing which is a crucial part of our training; Paula Vittoria for guiding us to the next level of sailing; the coach, Magnus Brun, for his patience, dedication and belief that we can be winners. And last but not least, the parents.  We couldn't do it without you all.


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