Sports — 15 February 2013 — by Elizabeth “Libby” Fitzgerald- Public Relations BzSA

On Saturday, February 9, at Buttonwood Bay, the young sailors in the Optimist program of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) set sail in their first Regatta of the 2013 season. Under bright sunny skies with the wind in their sails, the competition was tough and challenging for all. In each race the top 4 sailors battled it out, and the sailors, instructors and spectators waited anxiously for the umpire’s results. The scoring system is “low point score,” and the results show just how little separates some of the participants. All scores will be accumulated throughout the year to determine who will participate in the Nationals in December.

In first place, gold medalist is Antonio Ricardez, Jr. of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene public school. Antonio placed first in all five races. What a thrilling start for the season for Antonio!
In second place and silver medalist, with a 7-point difference, is Carlos Villatoro from the Placencia Sailing Club. Carlos showed that hard work and dedication brings forth the just rewards.

In third place and bronze medalist, with only 5 points separating him from Carlos, is Rupert Garnet from Liberty Children’s Home Sailing Club. Rupert is no stranger to success, having earned medals in other regattas. This will be Rupert’s last regatta, as he and his siblings are moving from Belize. I am sure that he will cherish this medal in a very special way. We wish him and his family fair winds and many blessings. We will miss all of you.

We send our heartfelt thanks to Tropigas for their generous sponsorship. Ms. Sally Heron, Branch Manager Tropigas Belize, presented the $1,000.00 cheque to Douglas Gabourel of BzSA. The children enjoyed meeting the Tropigas Gorilla. While they are quite sure that he is a great mascot, he is too tall to be a great Optimist sailor and could not participate in the Regatta.

We invite all Belizean businesses to consider becoming a sponsor of our organization. Help us revive sailing as part of our culture in Belize. To join our organization and the sailing club nearest to you, contact BzSA at [email protected]

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