Young sailors from the Saint Lucia Youth Sailing Program are training hard for the annual National Dinghy Championships which will be held at the St Lucia Yacht Club from Friday June 13 to Sunday June 15 under the sponsorship of IGY Rodney Bay Marina. Juniors from the ages of 8 through 20 will participate in two days of racing in the bay off Reduit Beach, sailing Optimist and Laser dinghies in the culmination of a year which has seen continued growth and development of the program.
The action starts at 3.30pm on Friday afternoon with the ‘Green’ Fleet – a small group of fresh new sailors who will compete in three races; then on Saturday and Sunday, Opti and Laser Divisions will race on the same course in Rodney Bay starting at 9am. This year a number of Martiniquan clubs have signed up to compete in the St Lucia Nationals, and competitors from Schoelcher and Le Marin are expected to arrive on Friday.
The Prize-giving Ceremony will be held at the St Lucia Yacht Club at 4pm on Sunday. Spectators, parents and all interested observers will be hosted onboard the Endless Summer catamaran, which will anchor close to the action throughout the weekend.
Among the fiercest St Lucian competitors this year are Luc Chevrier, Mark Spurway and Stephanie Devaux-Lovell. Luc has been sailing a new boat this year, most recently in April when he competed in the Byte CII World Championship and 2014 Youth Olympic Games Continental Qualifier held in Fraglia Vela Riva Del Garda, Italy. After a total of 13 races over five days he finished in 18th position out of 36 male participants representing the best sailors on the planet. Luc was selected for the Youth Olympic Games universality spot given by the International Olympic Committee to St. Lucia.
Also in the summer months, 17 year old Marc Spurway will be heading to the ISAF Youth Laser Worlds in Tavira, Portugal in July. He will be looking to beat the visiting competition and give training partner Stephanie Devaux-Lovell a tough sail. Stephanie is also looking forward to competing on the world stage in the summer, and her serious training and fitness schedule is testament to the seriousness of her Road to Rio 2016 campaign.
At only nineteen, Stephanie is competing against the top women in the world in Laser Radial sailing and after six years as a serious contender, she is very optimistic about her chances. Guided by Australian Coach Steve Brajkovich and 2012 Olympian Beth Lygoe, Stephanie has been St Lucia’s top Laser Radial sailor for the past four years, and has a series of qualifying events schedule for the next 12 months. Her fund-raising campaign started in earnest on Saturday at a barbecue party on the beach.
In the Optimist class, ten young sailors from the local community of Gros Islet will take part in the weekend regatta, continuing the positive impact of IGY Rodney Bay Marina’s investment in teaching more local youths to sail. Several of them have had the experience of travelling to nearby Martinique for competitions and training, with all eyes on Chrisanky Flood as he continues to strengthen his skills in the Laser 4.7 class.
With a free spectator boat leaving Rodney Bay Marina at 8.30am on both days, the St Lucia National Dinghy Sailing Championships promise to be a great weekend of excitement on the water in Rodney Bay. The St Lucia Yacht Club and St Lucia Sailing Association invite everyone who is interested in the sport of sailing to come and support our local youth as they demonstrate the future of sailing in Saint Lucia.
For more information about the St Lucia National Dinghy Championships sponsored by IGY Rodney BAy Marina, please visit www.stluciayachtclub.com or contact Coordinator Lily Bergasse at firstname.lastname@example.org.