Placencia Regatta show-off Belize’s maturing youth sailors
With steady breeze and moderately challenging waves, sailors showed off their growing sailing skills with tactical maneuvers at the 2nd Annual Placencia Sailing Regatta 2014, hosted by the Placencia Sailing Club, last Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25. This year saw far fewer capsizes, but last year also experienced 22-knot winds, compared to peak winds of 15 knots this year. Out of 46 competing sailors in the Opti class, San Pedro Junior Sailing Club’s Jerdon Anderson, Christian Trejo and Faith Noel took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
Trejo and Trent Hardwick of the Belize Sea Scouts led the fleet in 1st and 2nd place standings after the first day of four races, but Faith and Anderson recovered from disappointing finishes in the 2nd and 3rd races and finished on top. Notably, top ranking youth sailor, Antonio Ricardez, Jr. had equipment failure in the 1st race when his hook and block on the sprit halyard broke, and he was unable to recover from this early loss, even though he finished in the top three in four races out of the total 6 races in the regatta.
Racing official Allan Usher noted that, “This was the best regatta ever,” and “it also represents a ‘coming of age’ of a club,” referring to the Placencia Sailing Club’s improving quality of race management and regatta administration. One Commodore also commented that, “Placencia is one of a very few venues in Belize that can offer challenging sailing conditions with superb beach access and warm people.”