Over the weekend of November 28th and 29th 2009, the Royal BVI Yacht Club hosted the 3rd annual BVI Sailing Team Trials Regatta. Local youth sailors were racing to qualify for spots on the BVI Sailing Team. With the recent expansion of the BVI Sailing Team, a Development Sailing Team was created, allowing more kids than ever to qualify. With a record turn-out, 18 youth were selected for both the BVI Advanced Sailing Team and the new BVI Development Sailing Team. The two teams will have sailors training and competing in the Laser class and the Optimist class.


Photos courtesy of RBVIYC

The BVI Advanced Sailing Team this year is comprised of returning team members with plenty of sailing and regatta experience, whereas the Development team is made up of youths that are new to the racing aspect of sailing. With the new addition of a Development Team, young sailors will learn the basics of racing in a fun and competitive atmosphere. The goal of this team is to coach young sailors towards improved boat-handling skills, knowledge of racing rules and procedures, sportsmanship, teamwork and confidence, but most importantly, having fun! The Advanced team will be training hard this year to compete in several different international regattas including OPTINAM, the Optimist class North American championships, which will be held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, this year. Some of the team will also be representing the BVI at Optimist Worlds in Malaysia in December 2010.

The sailing team’s head coach, Chris Watters, said, “I’m very pleased with how many kids came out to the event this year, as it shows that more and more kids want to get involved with sailing.” Chris has been the coach of the BVI sailing team for four years. “When I first started coaching here, there was hardly an established youth program, but now we have athletes that are not just competing at international regattas but athletes that are performing extremely well at them.”  The conditions over the two-day event ranged from 3-6 knots. Despite the light winds, sailors managed to boast some top quality races. Often finishes were decided by inches, and the points were as tight as ever after the first day.


Mollee Donovan won the Optimist fleet with Robert Poole placing 2nd and David Hirst finishing 3rd. In the Laser 4.7 fleet, Dontae Hodge finished 1st, with Jonathan Woods in 2nd, and newcomer K’moi Winter placing 3rd.   The 2010 season for the BVI sailing team looks to be the biggest to date.  With major competitions such as the Caribbean and Central Americas games, Youth Olympics, and numerous world championships; the BVI will look to take part in more international games in the sport of sailing than ever before.  All teams will be selected by the Royal BVI Yacht club which acts as the Member of National Authority in the British Virgin Islands.


1    Mollee Donovan
2    Robert Poole
3    David Hirst
4    Jason Putley
5    Sam Morrell
6    Ryan Wooldridge
7    Matthew Oliver
8    Abby Maddox
9    Will Oeseburg
10    Joseph Wells
11    Giovanni Wells
12    Tao Doux- Lapelace

1    Dontae Hodge
2    Jonathan Woods
3    K'moi Winter
4    Mikiel Robin
5    Deja Adams
6    Dylan Moses