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Guardian Holdings Southern Caribbean Invitational Regatta

As 2005 neared its end, the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association still found the time to squeeze in the Guardian Holdings Southern Caribbean Regatta, which wrapped up on December 30.

Racing took place in Optimist, SR Max, MR15, Laser Radial, and Laser Standard classes, with visitors coming from Grenada, St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Barbados, and even Brazil and Argentina. Local competitors included local boat builder and regatta campaigner Paul Amon, and Optimist aces Matthew Scott and Anthony Alkins, who performed so outstandingly in the Optimist Worlds in summer.

True to form, Matthew Scott clinched the 27-strong Optimist fleet, recording just the one victory in 11 races over the three days, but rarely out of the top five. Alkins, who won four races, paid the price for a 16th place on day two to come in second. The top four places went to local sailors, underlying the talent in the region.

Justin Castagne and Stuart Leighton won the MR15 class easily, the fleet’s results scattered with DNS and DNF’s.

Equally emphatic was Paul Amon’s victory in the SR Max class, his crew taking eight out of ten races.

Only two sailors contested the Laser Radial class and unluckily for Phillip de Gannes, one of them was Antigua’s Karl James, who won nine out of ten races. A DNF in race five allowed de Gannes some respite. Six sailors competed in the Laser Standard class, won by Alan Alkins.

While competition in some classes may have been a little thin, the year’s final regatta did everything to highlight Trinidad and Tobago’s prowess in junior sailing. Where these youngsters progress from Optimists will be something to keep an eye on, but regional regattas of this kind are where future Olympic sailors are made.

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