The yearly showdown between four teams of junior sailors raised funds to help send competitors off to the National Championships. The Roscoe Thompson Regatta was held on May 18 off the north end of Elbow Cay. Sixteen children participated in events that included team racing, tug-of-war, bowline tying and an aquatic triathlon. The champion team will have their names placed on the coveted trophy for posterity.
The four teams were made up of participants from the Hope Town Sailing Club’s annual program. This year the parents and club members came together to create a memorable beach barbeque for the lunch break and to provide refreshments for spectators watching the kids compete. Many Abaco businesses donated to help make this a successful fundraiser.
Abaco Groceries donated hamburgers and hot dogs. Maxwells donated the buns and juice for the sailors. Harbour View gave the condiments and The Food Store provided the toppings. Hope Town Wine and Spirits provided refreshments for the adults. Parents provided the desserts and club members grilled. It was a great team effort.
The first event was team racing, where 2 teams at a time are pitted against each other. Because each team had a variety of skill levels, each match up was unique and different. For several youth, like Maitland Lowe and Stephanie Francois, this was their first taste of racing. Fortunately they had their more experienced teammates to help them through. After 6 matches, Joey Gale’s team, “Second Generation” was out in front.
During the lunch break, the more experienced skippers took younger sailors for rides in the Optimist sailboats right off the beach. This is a great way for the next generation of sailors to get a taste of sailing before joining the program in the coming years.
Next up was the tug of war. Each team had to tie their own knot in the end of the line for the anchor person. Most of them figured it out which was good because the competition was fierce. There was lots of cheering and yelling and during this event “Second Generation” increased their lead considerably.
The final event was the aquatic triathlon. One team member starts by swimming from a barge anchored off the beach all the way back to the beach. Then the next two take a kayak provided by Abaco Eco. They must paddle out to sea, around a mark and back to the beach.
Finally the last person sails an optimist from the beach downwind, jibes around a mark and must tack back and forth to make it to the beach. This is a very exciting event and there was lots of great drama. “Revenge of the Flying Pineapples” and “The Victors” made great comebacks. But “Second Generation” was almost unbeatable.
At the last minute “The Champions” caught up and were able to surpass them in points because their team discipline did not falter at the end. Congratulations to “The Champions” and its members: Chloe Sweeting, Ryan Knowles, Colby Stebbins, and Andrew Joseph – the 2013 Rosco Thompson winners.