Eight teams took part in the The Sol Optimist Challenge held off the beach at Nanny Cay yesterday afternoon.  A relay race with teams of three – comprised one racer, one beginner and one adult – was organized by Brian Duff, director of Sailing Development, Royal BVI Yacht Club (RBVIYC) to showcase the program.  The format saw racers racing racers, beginners racing beginners and adults racing adults in the event which started Le Mans style and saw each participant rounding one or two marks off Nanny Cay, depending on their ability, before heading back to shore and tagging their team mate.

Two heats were hotly contested, which saw the changeover points getting steadily deeper, and the pushes to get the Optimists moving getting bigger, some with lighter crews actually skipping across the water. 

In the final heat the winning team was Rayne Duff (Racer), Richard Wooldridge (Adult) and William Dawson (Beginner).  Second placers were Thad Lettsome (Racer), Gary Cottreau (Adult), Noah Cottreau (Beginner).  Third place went to James Dawson (Racer), Kim Duff (Adult), Jaheim Christie (Beginner).  The winners received shaped trophies made out of recycled glass by the Green VI Glass Studio in Cane Garden Bay.

Members of RBVIYC Youth Programme will be selling raffle tickets in the Regatta Village throughout the weekend to raise funds for equipment and coaching.  They have over 40 prizes including a round trip air ticket to Puerto Rico from Beef Island, a romantic dinner for two at Saba Rock, and a luxurious spa treatment at Peter Island Spa.  Look out for the kids in their official shirts or visit the Sol stand, where they can also be found.

Sol Petroleum partnered with Nanny Cay in January 2011 to raise funds for the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club (RBVIYC) Junior Sailing Programme. The collaboration between the two businesses facilitates the collection of a donation from every gallon of fuel sold at the marina. The donation is paid over to the RBVIYC each quarter and is used to advance the development of the sailing programme for the young sailors of the territory.  The Royal BVI Yacht Club is a not-for-profit entity. It is the National Authority for sailing in the BVI and many of its BVI sailing alumni and members have gone on to race in internationally renowned regattas and the Olympics. The Club is dependent on members, volunteers and donations from sponsors and individuals to run the club and organize events. All funds are channeled into the club and help to maintain its fleet of Optimists and Lasers, maintain and operate its coach boat, organize regattas and assist children in traveling and participating in overseas sailing events. For more information on the RBVIYC please visit www.royalbviyc.org.

Nanny Cay hosts the youth sailing programme which runs on Saturday mornings from 9.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. The aim is to encourage more beginners and new-starters to join, whilst also providing development for intermediate and advanced sailors.