By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In the first youth sailing event since last year’s version before Hurricane Irma wiped out September’s Back to School Regatta, sailors from St. Thomas and Puerto Rico joined their BVI counterparts in the annual BVI Dinghy Championships held in Nanny Cay.
The early battle for the top spots in the Optimist Championships Division, was between sailors from the St. Thomas Yacht Club, trying to claim the vacant title sleft by counterpart Mia Nicolosi, who aged out of the competition, after dominating the event over the last three years.
Saturday’s opening day saw seven races and eventual winner Tanner Krygsveld who retired in the first race after capsizing, storming back with three bullets and a second place finish, for a one-point lead over teammates Andy Yu and just two better than Katherine Majett.
Krygsveld tallied 12 points, Yu 13 and Majett 14, heading into Sunday’s final day of action in the small field of Blue and Red Fleet sailors that also included a participant from Puerto Rico, sailing just off Nanny Cay.
Krygsveld won two of four races on Sunday to seal the title with 21 points. Inconsistency by Yu and Katherine Majett who eventually retired and was overtaken by her sister Winn, prevented them from capitalizing on Krygsveld fourth place finish in one of the races. Yu finished second with 26 and Win Majett third, with 38.
“The competition was strong, really hard and they sailed well and it was kind of hard to keep consistency, because if you messed up, it’s kinda hard to come back because they’re so strong,” Krygsveld said. “I had a bad race on the last day but came back with two firsts and I started sailing faster and more competitive I guess than everyone else.”
Capsizing during the first race of the competition, Krygsveld said it was no point going on as he was already behind the start.
“I knew that if I could sail consistently in the other races, I could come back,” he said. “This win means a lot. Past sailors from the U.S. Virgin Islands have won this so this is special.”
Event coordinator Tamsin Rand, said it was a fabulous weekend and the weather gave everyone a challenge, but it was great having the St. Thomas sailors along with one from Puerto Rico.
“We’re down on our numbers for BVI for obvious reasons, but, we have some up and coming kids in the green fleet so it’s just a matter of time before they’re out on the championships course,” she noted. “They all raced hard this weekend.”
With the strong winds on opening day, organizers had the Green Fleet competing inside Nanny Cay.
“We say ‘thank you Irma for removing the docks,’” she said. “It gave us a really good safe option to race. The wind in a ways was just too much and we wanted to ensure they got lots of races in and they have fun and they didn’t come off the weekend thinking, I never want to sail again. Normally, our Plan B would be to go into Sea Cows Bay, but we decided this year, there’s a lot going on in there and Nanny Cay Marina was absolutely perfect.”
Rand described overall winner Krygsveld, 11, as a ‘great little sailor.’ “I believe he was one of the youngest on their team and he’s determined,” she noted. “He learns from his mistakes, he’s brilliant.”
Final results. Blue Fleet:
1. Tanner krygsveld, 21. 2. Andy Yu, 26. 3. Alejo Di Blasi, 55. 4. Robert Richards, 59.
5. Samuel Allen, 94.
Red Fleet: 1. Winn Majette, 38. 2. Caroline Sibilly, 44. 3. Katherine Majette, 58. 4. Tiare Sierra, 60.
Green Fleet: 1. Coby Fagan, 19. 2Victoria Rowlette, 32. 3. Amanda Plaxton, 41. 4. Matthew Grayson, 55.