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YOUNG ANTIGUANS EXCEL AT 2011 ST. MAARTEN SOL OPTIMIST CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday 19th November 2011

The Sint Maarten Sol Optimist Championships 2011 were held over the weekend of November 5 and 6, 2011.  In the overall results, 15-year old Antiguan Hosea Williams finished second overall in a fleet of 29 participants.  Three other Antiguans - Rocco Falcone, Louis Bavay and Rhone Kirby - also finished in the top 10 overall.  In the Senior Division, Hosea Williams finished in second place and Rhone Kirby in fourth place.  In the Junior Division, Rocco Falcone was third and Louis Bavay was fifth.  Well done and congratulations to the Antiguan Team.

Following is Robbie Ferron's report on the regatta.

The fact that the Sint Maarten Sol Optimist Championships for 2011 will be recorded as being the largest ever will be only one part of the event having been a watershed year. The attraction of five other territories to participate is significant, but not as significant as the fact that the long time major participant, Anguilla Sailing Association, is now producing sailors that can give her neighbours in Sint Maarten a good run for their money .

Overall winner of the event was Leonardo Knol (12), the talented son of Dr Luc Knol, who has done less training than other sailors but who clearly does more winning. Second was Hosea Williams (15) of the strong sailing island of Antigua where coach Karl James is pushing his team to greater efforts. Third place went to diminutive 9-year-old Nathan Smith who relished the light winds. Alec Scarabelli (11) of Sint Maarten was fourth and Thomas Maccow (14) of Blowing Point Anguilla was fifth.

Winner of the Junior Division (11 years & under) was Nathan Smith (9) followed by Alec Scarabelli (11) and Rocco Falcone (10) of Antigua. The Senior Division (12 years & older) standings were Leonardo Knol (12), Hosea Williams (15) and Thomas Maccow (14).

The Sportsmanship Award went to 10-yr-old Nathalie Fay of BVI who made it very clear, in the course of a buoy incident, that she would do the correct thing when in an awkward situation.

Visiting territories were BVI, Anguilla, St Barth’s, Nevis and Antigua. A total of 29 boats participated.
Winds for the event, held in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, were light and diminished during the day until the final races were almost drifters with wind switches towards the south. The Race Officer was Alfred Koolen, and David deVries sat as the judge.

The event was sponsored once again by Sol Petroleum who are now in their 5th year of sponsorship. Regional General Manager, David Antrobus said,

“Sol is very pleased to once again be the sponsor of the 2011 Optimist Regatta, having been there from the first Optimist Regatta in 2005 when there were only 12 boats from two countries participating. It is thus especially pleasing this year to see 6 countries participating and 29 boats. The Regatta fits Sol’s profile for its sponsorship in promoting the youth in events that can be associated with Company’s long term growth in its markets. Sol looks forward to the day that these young sailors today become the Mega yacht captains of future years.”

No doubt Antrobus hopes these future superyacht captains will remember the start that SOL gave them, and purchase his products some years from now!

Article by Robbie Ferron.


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