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Anguilla National Sailing Team Brings Home another Gold Medal in a Resounding Victory

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image Team Anguilla Rounding The Mark

For the second year running, The Anguilla National Sailing Team brought home gold medals from the KATS Premier’s Cup International Youth Regatta in a sweeping victory of 39 points ahead of the 2nd place winners.  Taking the silver medals was one of two teams from the BVI, with Bahamas taking the third place spot. Team Anguilla, racing a six member IC24 boat, also competed against teams from Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, and one other  BVI team.

The Rotary Club, Rotoract and Interact sponsored event was held at Nanny Cay Resort & Marina in Tortola on July 13, 14 and 15.  The event is the only youth team sailing event in the Caribbean, bringing together young sailors between the ages of 10 to 18 for great competition and fellowship. 

The Anguilla National team are all students from the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club (AYSC).  Team Captain and helmsman, Kendal “Kenny” Richardson, credits more than just his team of Ethan “Rumple” Lloyd, Kadeem Joseph, Romero “Butchie” Gumbs, Derick “Fritz” Carty, and Omari Hamilton for their extraordinary success.

Team Anguilla leading the fleet - 2012

Captain Kenny Richardson says, “As the defending champions, the stakes couldn’t have been any higher going into this race.  Every other team was gunning for us, and to emerge with such a clear and massive win was incredible.  We don’t sail the IC24’s at home because our largest boat is the two person 420, so this win means a lot.  Retrieving the gold was also special for both Derick and I because we were able to do so in our last year of attending the Premier's Cup because next year we will be too old. Also, it wasn't only the 6 guys who were on the boat that made this possible. Everyone that helped us prepare and actually get us to Tortola is the main reason we were able to bring the gold medal back to our country, and for that we want to say a very big thank you to the Rotary Club and to the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club as well as every other person that helped as well!”

With 15 – 20 kt winds over the weekend, Team Anguilla was clearly in their element and dominated the racing with twelve 1st place wins, three 2nd places, and one third and fourth place finish.  The wind conditions certainly gave Team Anguilla a competitive edge as they are accustomed to sailing in a similarly heavy breeze in Anguilla.  And, as one of the most senior teams at this year’s regatta, they were also one of the physically largest teams, which helped to maintain unparalleled boat speed upwind. 

Team Anguilla sporting their trophy. An Anguilla Boat Racing Legend, Mr. Harris Richardson, stands first from the left.

Sailing Director of AYSC, Paul Koeniger was impressed with the skills of the Anguilla National Sailing Team.  “The Anguilla team trained hard the past few weeks and they reaped the fruits of their labor.  They worked fantastically as a team and were effective and efficient in each race from start to finish.  As their coach, I could not be more proud of our boys for bringing the gold home to Anguilla for the second straight year.”

The Rotary Club of Anguilla sponsored the AYSC’s national sailing team to attend this prestigious event.  The Rotary Club of Anguilla and the Anguilla Sailing Association would like to thank the events major sponsor Digicel as well as Caribbean Commercial Bank of Anguilla, D3 Enterprises, Caribbean Juris Chambers, Keithley Lake & Associates, Social Security Board, MAICO, Nagico, Peter Oliver and the members of the Rotary Club of Anguilla for their financial support for this event. Pilot Tony Webster, of Island Air Charters, graciously transported the sailing team along with Rotary Club Team Leader Harris Richardson, and fellow Rotarian Alexander Fedee to the competition.

The Anguilla Sailing Association (ASA) is the parent organization of the AYSC.  Their mandate is to provide all Anguilla children with the opportunity to sail while learning seamanship, boat safety, environmentalism, and leadership skills. 

Donald Curtis, president of the ASA, says “For a small non-profit organization committed to provide sailing instruction and leadership to all Anguilla children, and constantly struggling to receive funding to ensure that the doors stay open, this victory is the epitome of why we’re here.  These sailors have been with us from the beginning.  In that time, they have grown and developed to be astounding sailors and leaders.  Anguilla should be extremely proud of their national sailing team!”

Final results were:  Anguilla (25 pts), BVI II (64 pts), Bahamas (67pts), Trinidad & Tobago (68 pts), Puerto Rico (72 pts), Cayman Islands (73 pts), US Sail Caribbean (121 pts), BVI (124 pts)