By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Rayne Duff of the BVI was unable to defend his home turf during the weekend Back to School Regatta, a year after battling with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Teddy Nicolosi in securing the title, he couldn’t catch Teddy’s sister Mia.
Mia didn’t give Duff a chance to get the winds in his sail, winning four of the first five races to Duff’s one, finishing Saturday with a two points lead, 10-8. Despite a tie with the BVI’s Nathan Haycraft in Sunday’s second race after winning the first, Duff couldn’t make any inroad on the Antilles School seventh grader who came back with another victory in the ninth race—her sixth outright in 10 races—to take out the defending champ by 2.5 points, 12.5-15. St. Thomas’ Julian van den Driessche was third overall with 28 points.
As Duff was the main competition, Mia said they were always finishing in the top two spots, but tried hard to get space between themselves. She said being able to train with he brother and St. Thomas Yacht Club teammates has really helped her improve. After getting the lead, her aim was always to keep him behind.
“I knew I had to cover him, make sure he was behind and have good races so that I would finish in front of him,” Mia explained of her strategy heading into Sunday’s races with a two points lead. “He was the main competition and it was fun having the competition. Winning this regatta was cool.”
Duff said at first he had boat speed problems. “Mia is really fast compared to me,” Duff stated. “Before today, everyone was saying to me ‘you have to destroy Mia. You have to make sure to keep her behind you.’ And every time I did that, she just used her ultimate boat speed and goes by. I was under pressure. I had to try and take out Mia, but I failed.”
Event coordinator Julie Deakin described the regatta as a ‘really great event.’ “We had 32 children out on the water—13 in Green Fleet; 15 in championship and four in Laser—so it was a really good turnout, the best we’ve ever had for this event,” she noted. “There was light winds on Saturday, picked up a little bit today, but we still got plenty of racing in and I think the kids all had a great time. But, it was fierce competition. Mia did really well and Rayne did also and there was only 2.5 points separating them in the end.”
Final results. Overall: 1. Mia Nicolosi, St. Thomas, 12.5 points. 2. Rayne Duff, BVI, 15. 3. Julian van den Driessche, St. Thomas, 28. 4. Nathan Haycraft, BVI, 41.5. 5. Victoria Flatley, St. Thomas, 45. 6. Jose Diaz, Puerto Rico, 54. 7. Gillian Perrell, St. Thomas, 57. 8. Kyle Roost, BVI, 71. 9. Maxwell Reshtiloff, BVI, 91. 10. Osvaldo DeLeon, Puerto Rico, 97.5. 11. Katherine Majette, St. Thomas, 98.5. 12. Jose Mendez, Puerto Rico, 103. 13. Joaquin Lopez, Puerto Rico, 106. 14. Ahya Reshetiloff, BVI, 109. 15. Sebastian Casellas, Puerto Rico, 111.