After 16 months of not competing overseas due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Sailing345 youth laser squad proved definitively their consistent and intense training has paid off.
Under the tutelage of laser race training coach, Juan Mazzini, who joined Sailing345 in October of 2020; Ava Hider, Will Jackson, Charlotte Webster and Matheo Capasso, have made their mark and laid down an impressive standard for the rest of the summer.
Matheo Capasso won the 4.7 class at the US Laser Nationals in Norfolk Virginia. He ended day 1 in 9th position, taking some time to get his footing after the long break.
After three additional races on day 2, he moved up to 4th and excelled in the high winds on the final day of racing with a near perfect performance of two bullets (first places) and a second to come out first overall, a full 10 points ahead of the second placed competitor from the USA.
“On the first day I was a little bit out of touch. It was my first overseas regatta since the start of Covid,” Capasso stated in a press release. “After that I got back into the flow of racing. I felt strong and my confidence grew as the regatta went on. I like the big wind in the 4.7 and was really happy to be on the water racing again. I am looking forward to the
rest of the season”.
Three additional Sailing345 squad members competed in Norfolk. Charlotte Webster also sailed in the 4.7 class and finished an impressive 24th place overall, 8th among the female entries.
Charlotte had a two year break from sail racing but since having joined the Sailing345 squad back in October has improved considerably. We are expecting great things to come from this eager and focused young athlete.
Ava Hider and Will Jackson competed in the Radial class, a bigger and faster boat than the 4.7, and both athletes impressed in the large fleet. Will finished the regatta placing third overall in the silver fleet, scoring a bullet in the last race of the event. Ava finished 19 th in the silver fleet.
Ava had flown into Norfolk the night before racing began from having competed at the U21 European Championship in Tivat, Montenegro. Ava had a very impressive showing in Tivat in a highly competitive field featuring 2021 Olympians and future Olympic hopefuls, finishing 34th in the event.
The Cayman sailors are currently training in Long Beach California, preparing to race at the Midwinter’s West Laser Regatta in Long Beach and the North American Championships in San Francisco. After that the athletes head to Europe to compete at various events including the RYA Youth National Champs, the British Nationals, European and World Championships.
Will Jackson has been selected to represent the Cayman Islands at the Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia in November, which will be the pinnacle regatta of his season.
“I’m pleased to have qualified and am looking forward to representing the Cayman Islands in November at the Pan Am Games,” said Jackson. “Our Sailing345 coach, Juan Mazzini, has and continues to challenge my enjoyment of sailing.”