Shifty conditions test Caribbean Dinghy Championships fleets
Today, the second day of the Caribbean Dinghy Championships, part of Caribbean Sailing Week, tested Clare Cupples’ race team from Antigua Yacht Club to the max over the race course in Falmouth Harbour. “The wind was constantly shifting all day so we really had our work cut out setting the courses,” she said.
The four fleets, the Laser, Laser Radial, Optimist and RS Fevas nevertheless packed in six races, bringing to a total of 12 so far of the 15 races planned for the three day series. The leaders are starting to consolidate their positions going into the final day. Looking unbeatable is Antigua’s Daniel Smit in the Laser Radial class leading second place Amy Cox of Barbados by 15 points. Racing has been tight in the class. Amy Cox finished race 9 only “two inches ahead” of Trinidad’s Abigail Cox in the race committee’s judgement in one of several battles between the two women.
With hopes now high of heading to victory in the Optimist class Ozani Laford, also from Antigua, has held onto the leaderboard right from the start. Ozani not only achieved four first places but his leads frequently stretched out well ahead of the rest of the fleet. At 15 years old, Ozani is a promising young sailor and is building a reputation as a light airs winner. He has recently returned from the Optimist North Americans, but his age means that he will soon be leaving the class. Several of the Optimists suffered spills into the water when a sharp gust caught the fleet just before lunch.
Jules Mitchell of Antigua continues to hold onto the lead in the Laser class although Rhone Kirby is only three points behind with both performing consistently in today’s generally light air conditions.
The pressure is on in the RS Feva class whose crews are also competing for their Regional Championship title. It could go to Mauriceson Valentine with his crew Nahio from Antigua who are now ahead of Luke Frankland and Graham Chin from Trinidad but there is all to play for in tomorrow’s final three races.
Racing resumes tomorrow when the overall champion will take the Nations Cup.