Following COVID-19 break, after school sailing resumes | Island Sun

Following COVID-19 break, after school sailing resumes

Optimist Sailors paused long enough before going on their first sailing on Thursday in the Royal BVI Yacht Club After School Program

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Young Optimist sailors in the Royal BVI Yacht Club after school program, resumed training last Thursday, following a COVID-19 break that shut the program down in August, following a spike in cases, then a series of restricted curfews. 

Coach Rob Lind told Island Sun Sports that it was like taking the dust off the cobwebs kinda day as it was the first time they were returning to sailing.

 “We just kind of went over a lot of what we had finished doing in August, just to refresh their memory and because the conditions were light, we were doing light wind sailing,” Lind pointed out. “It was rigging the boat and practicing their tactical manoeuvre, practicing roller tact to keep the boat moving and basically dealing with a lot of patience, because they were almost practically drifting out there, so you got to stay very still in the boat.”

Lind said once that was covered, they made a start line with windward-leeward courses upwind and downwind and managed to get a few starts in then did one race at the end. 

Victoria Rowlette told Island Sun Sports that she has been sailing for about seven years.

“I just like being out on the water in general,” she said while setting up her rig at Nanny Cay, as her other Optimist Class teammates did the same. “I like the community, new people have come and gone from the yacht club. It was cool before Corona as you could go to St. Thomas and St. Croix and meet new people. It’s also a lot of fun to improve and there’s always something to improve in sailing.”

For Savion James who has been sailing for three years and sails Opti Green, he said things have been going well and shared what he likes about sailing.

“Just when you’re in a boat, it does feel good,” he told Island Sun Sports with a big smile, noting that it was a sad time when he couldn’t sail during the COVID-19 lockdown and various curfews. “But I’m glad we’re back out on the water now.  It’s a good feeling just when you’re out on the water and the wind just hitting you and the breeze—everything—it’s such a good feeling.”

On Friday, an adult Laser Sailing program was introduced and nine persons participated. Lind said the idea behind the plan was to keep the sailing community alive and going.

“We’re trying to get people down (to Nanny Cay) after work, get boats set up then we’re going to have a few races,” he said. “We’re going to have races, be off the water by six.  We’re going to try and get a league going and try to keep it as a weekly event every Friday to finish off the workweek. We’re going to have a nice fun race group going, kinda keeping the club together as  community.”