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Young sailors fly flag for Cayman

Sports 21 Jul, 2022 Follow News

Young sailors fly flag for Cayman

The Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s youth sailors having been doing their home country proud, participating in high level competitions just recently. They competed in the ICLA LASER North American Championships held in Cork, Ontario Canada  from 30 June to 4 July, a PAN AM qualifyer for Cayman’s sailing athletes.  The conditions were gusty on the Great Lakes and the teenagers all battled with wind shifts and stiff competion.  A midweek ‘Black flag’ for 25% of the fleet (disqalification) moved Charlotte Webster (age 18) from 10th place to 21st overall in the Silver fleet.  Matheo Capasso (age 17) had another strong regatta as the verteran first place winner in Laser 4.7s in 2021 San Franscisco. Matheo finished his first competition of gold fleet Laser 6 Championships with a solid 21st place out of 59 top international sailors.  The big news for Cayman was rookie Sailor Charlie Hunn (age 16).  As a top local 4.7 Sailor, this was Charlie’s first time at ILCA North American Championships and he had an incredible start to the week with third and fourth place finishes.  In the end he made Cayman proud by placing in the top ten (ninth place overall.)

Both Charlotte and Matheo moved on to being selected 8-14 July event in The Hague, Netherlands for Under 19 Youth World Sailing Championships.  This prestigious event only invites one qualified boy and one qualified girl from 264 countries.  Over 450 international youth sailors compete in this global event.  The Cayman sailors qualifed by participating in the Olympic Solidarity ‘Emerging Nations’ Programme.

Coach Kelvin Brown said: “Our sailors were racing in the most prestigous global sailing event in the world and also the most competitve class (ILCA laser 6 fleet) and the largest class of the event with 116 particpants.  Cayman sailed extremley well in spite of the light winds and strong current which proved to be a huge challenge.  There were long days on the water where the races were abandoned for no wind and yet another day the young sailors endured six hours on the water with only one race.”

Despite these challenges, Cayman finished strong with Charlotte finishing 32nd out of 56 and Matheo 29th out of 62 sailors.

Matheo is heading to the ICLA Youth World Championships 23-30 July in Shoreacres, Texas.  He will be attending Tulane University in New Orleans this year to sail with their winning team.

Charlotte started racing 18-22 July for the UKLA British Open and Nationals being held in Hayling Island, England.  Again, the very high/low tides and strong currents are unfamiliar waters for her, but on her first day she finished her first race in the top ten (10th) and a strong 20th place for her second race out of 102 entries.  She is competing in a difficult mixed mens and womens fleet with famous verteran male sailors over the age of 40 and amongst ladies who are on the British National Sailing Team and Olympic Sailors.  She has accepted a place at University of Exeter to study Enviromental Science, a university ranked as a top sailing UK Russell Group university.

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