The Hope Town Junior Sailing program ends every May with the prestigious Derek Lee Regatta. This was first awarded in the 1960s and many local grew up racing in it. Since the Optimist training program started at the Hope Town Sailing Club this regatta has been held for the past seven years with great success.
This year we had three different skill sets. Ethan Lowe and Maitland Lowe were the only two to compete in the Little Greenies fleet. These were very simple races for the newest and least experienced sailors. After a few attempts and a couple of tries it was called a draw.
Next up was the Green Fleet. This fleet is for sailors who are ready to compete but do not have much experience in regattas. For the first time, there was an all-female fleet, and these girls have practiced very hard to be able to show such sailing skills. Competition was very intense which made it a difficult first regatta but they all performed admirably.
Eloise Albury took third place but there was a tie for the top spot. After the tie breaker Malia Sweeting was second and Rachael Sands was the Green Fleet Champion.
The Championship Fleet has some top notch sailors this year. It looks like Abaco will have a strong presence in the National Championships later this year, and one of the members will be sailing in the World Championships in Italy.
There were 8 races, all of them short which keeps the fleet together and means anyone can make last minute gain. But a good attitude was important, and Sebastian Hall demonstrated this admirably, earning him the Best Sportsmanship title.
In the top spots: third was a tight race. Chloe Sweeting ended up fourth on the tie breaker, but she was also the Top Female this year. William Cash just managed to snag third. In second place was Joey Gale. And for the second year in a row Branden Sands was the Derek Lee Champion. Congratulations to all competitors.