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Strong performance at 2023 CAC Games

Sports 06 Jul, 2023 Follow News

Strong performance at 2023 CAC Games

Charlotte Webster produced a best-ever performance by a Cayman sailor at a major multi-sport event by taking 4th place in the ILCA6 (aka Laser Radial) class at the XXIV Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The Cayman number one cemented her place as the Caribbean’s top female, finishing behind Olympic veteran and reigning North American champion Elena Oetling of Mexico, and three-time silver medalist at the CAC games, Daniela Rivera of Venezuela. Rounding out the top 3 was Charlotte’s training partner, Christina Castellanos representing Central Caribe Sports (CCS).

After a dazzling opening ceremony in the capitol, racing took place over 6 days on Lake Ilopango, a volcanic crater lake situated about an hour east of San Salvador. Light and shifty winds throughout the week meant that the conditions were better suited to the rowing regatta at the same venue than competitive sailing. With no racing possible on days 2 and 3 the remainder of the week demanded patience from the sailors as the wind would not materialize until after 4pm, sometimes later. Charlotte lay in 4th place after day 1, a position she never relinquished, with the top order standings staying the same through all 9 races during the week.

“The conditions were very tricky”, said Webster, “and the on-the-water judges were very strict when it came to handing out instant penalties for infringements. I benefitted one time, but then lost 3 places in another race when my rolling and steering was judged to be too much. In another race myself and the Mexican sailor were becalmed at the finish, allowing Cuba to steal places by ghosting in from the other side of the racecourse.”

“Coach Raph [Harvey] helped us our light-wind technique by doing many roll tacks. Sometimes a tedious process in 2 kts of breeze.”

As well as Coach Raph, the other member of the sailing team was Cayman’s flag-bearer Andres McDermot, competing in his third CAC Games in the ILCA7 (aka Laser standard rig). In a strong fleet in the men’s competition Andres placed 13th of 16 boats.

   Overall Webster is very happy with how her racing strategies have improved, as this was a small fleet compared to the European events she has been doing for the past year. Charlotte is now training in Cayman for next month’s Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague. The Olympic qualifier event tests the sailors’ skills in the tidal water of the North Sea, a location Charlotte is familiar with from last year’s Youth Sailing World Championships at the same site. Further Olympic qualifying opportunities are at the PanAm Games in Chile and the 2024 ILCA World Championships in Argentina.

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