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HomeNewsArchivesA KID'S OPINION, 1999 CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL OPTIMIST REGATTA

A KID'S OPINION, 1999 CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL OPTIMIST REGATTA

The last Caribbean International Optimist Regatta hosted by Scotia Bank and St. Thomas Yacht Club of the millennium is history. But the most important history of this event is recorded by the "Future" in their own words.
Although a willing volunteer, being chained to the kitchen gave me the chance to observe this years Racer's through a different lens.
Sixty young people aged 8 – 15 years old, so young, yet so wise. All weekend, overhead were "Please," "Thank you," "You had a Bad Break," "Tomorrow will be Better," "You were Awesoooommme," "He's Cute," and on and on. Everyone looked out for each other's gear, boys and girls were equals, (except for "The Dance" — boys on one side, girls on the other).
Kids translated for each other, kids gave each other advice. Kids sat in rapt attention as Peter Holmberg, ‘homeboy' to us, yet hero to all, showed slides and gave his full attention to each and every sailor.
What did the youthful sailors think? Well, since I was too busy to interview and ask questions, I passed a notebook among the kids to express their feelings. Here is what they said (unedited):
"I thought that the regatta was very fun and I had a great time. I learned a lot during this regatta and it was a great experience for me" Brittany Thompson, 12 yrs. old from St. Thomas — placed 3rd in Green Fleet.
"I thought the regatta was really fun and it was good for people who haven't done any sort of race regatta like that and I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed racing with everyone." Lauren Probyn, 11yrs. old from St. Thomas — 10th in Green Fleet.
"I thought that the regatta was fun, but I was disappointed that there weren't as many people as last year." Thomas Barrows, 11 yrs. old from St. Thomas — 2nd in Blue fleet.
"This was a very fun regatta. It was my first Opti regatta and it was a great one. I learned a lot about sailing. It was also fun because I made some new friends." Sophie Newbold, 12 yrs old, from St. Thomas.
"I thought the regatta was fun and organized. I met new people and learned a lot about sailing. Mu only regret was that there were not that many people." Andrea Bailey, 12 yrs old, from St. Thomas.
"I had a fun experience in this regatta. I learned a lot in the clinic also. I started off not so good, but then later on, I got better.
"I hope to sail in this regatta soon." Addison Caproni, 12 yrs old from St. Thomas
"It all started on June 20 with the clinic. O felt the need for speed. I was cruisin'. The clinic was a whole lot of fun and I heard a lot. All 3 days of the clinic was a good experience. The regatta started Thursday, after the long ‘free day'that we had. The first day of the regatta exciting. I was in 3rd place, hoping that I could win. I also chipped a tooth in the pool. The second day of the regatta I dropped back to 4th still with a lot of confidence. We had a party when we came in, and a girl named Marie Francis – I kind of like her! taught me how to dance. On the last day I dropped back to 5th. I didn't win but I had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends, and sailed my best. I never thought that there would be so much competition." Bobby Noonan, age 13, Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Club.
"I thought the regatta was good. I started the clinic and then the regatta. I stayed here a week before with the Thompsons. I thought the regatta was good wind. During the second day someone was driving on the
course for no reason and hit me and blocked me for 10 sec. and that made me a little mad. Overall I thought it was a good regatta and I got third overall and 1st in red fleet. This is my third year here. Wakeboarding rules!!!" Erik Bindslev, 13 years old, from Marco Island, Fla. and sail for St. Pete Yacht Club.
"I thought the regatta went great. We had good wind every day. I thought that the race committee did a good job." Cullen Shaughnessy, 12 years old, Marco Island, Fl.
"I thought the regatta was fun and well run except for one race, when everybody got to go through the start and I was messed up. It was very exciting to meet new people and new friends. I had a great time and my competition was Cullen Shansey from the USA. Cullen Shansey beat me overall by one point. I got second overall and first in white fleet. The kid that almost beat me for second place was Erik Bindslev, he is also from the USA. I've lived on St. Thomas all my life. I've been sailing for seven years in Opti's." Cy Thompson, 10 yrs old from St. Thomas.
"May I please have a chocolate lolly?" Sailor from Trinidad (asking for a ice cream bar)
"Can I put this fish I caught in your refrigerator?" Two sailors from BVI about the Spanish Mackerel they caught on the way to St. Thomas.
"Please, Thank you, and Where can I put my dirty dishes?" 60 young sailors from all over
Well, now you've heard it from the experts. Good wind, great competition, new friends, even comments on the Race Committee. Heartfelt congratulations to all the racers. Kudos to all the parents that encourage and sacrifice so that their children and others are introduced to this opportunity to grow into healthy, strong, competitive and wholesome human beings. Again, racers, you made us proud.
And a P.S. on this report, A GIANT THANK YOU to Regatta Directors: Marie Canfield and Christine Thompson, St. Thomas Yacht Club Commodore: Ed Drury, my Kitchen help: Melanie, Charlie, Barbara, Kirk, Kathy and Kevin, the Race Committee and all the volunteers and sponsors that work so hard to be role models everyone can be proud of.

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The last Caribbean International Optimist Regatta hosted by Scotia Bank and St. Thomas Yacht Club of the millennium is history. But the most important history of this event is recorded by the "Future" in their own words.
Although a willing volunteer, being chained to the kitchen gave me the chance to observe this years Racer's through a different lens.
Sixty young people aged 8 - 15 years old, so young, yet so wise. All weekend, overhead were "Please," "Thank you," "You had a Bad Break," "Tomorrow will be Better," "You were Awesoooommme," "He's Cute," and on and on. Everyone looked out for each other's gear, boys and girls were equals, (except for "The Dance" -- boys on one side, girls on the other).
Kids translated for each other, kids gave each other advice. Kids sat in rapt attention as Peter Holmberg, ‘homeboy' to us, yet hero to all, showed slides and gave his full attention to each and every sailor.
What did the youthful sailors think? Well, since I was too busy to interview and ask questions, I passed a notebook among the kids to express their feelings. Here is what they said (unedited):
"I thought that the regatta was very fun and I had a great time. I learned a lot during this regatta and it was a great experience for me" Brittany Thompson, 12 yrs. old from St. Thomas -- placed 3rd in Green Fleet.
"I thought the regatta was really fun and it was good for people who haven't done any sort of race regatta like that and I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed racing with everyone." Lauren Probyn, 11yrs. old from St. Thomas -- 10th in Green Fleet.
"I thought that the regatta was fun, but I was disappointed that there weren't as many people as last year." Thomas Barrows, 11 yrs. old from St. Thomas -- 2nd in Blue fleet.
"This was a very fun regatta. It was my first Opti regatta and it was a great one. I learned a lot about sailing. It was also fun because I made some new friends." Sophie Newbold, 12 yrs old, from St. Thomas.
"I thought the regatta was fun and organized. I met new people and learned a lot about sailing. Mu only regret was that there were not that many people." Andrea Bailey, 12 yrs old, from St. Thomas.
"I had a fun experience in this regatta. I learned a lot in the clinic also. I started off not so good, but then later on, I got better.
"I hope to sail in this regatta soon." Addison Caproni, 12 yrs old from St. Thomas
"It all started on June 20 with the clinic. O felt the need for speed. I was cruisin'. The clinic was a whole lot of fun and I heard a lot. All 3 days of the clinic was a good experience. The regatta started Thursday, after the long ‘free day'that we had. The first day of the regatta exciting. I was in 3rd place, hoping that I could win. I also chipped a tooth in the pool. The second day of the regatta I dropped back to 4th still with a lot of confidence. We had a party when we came in, and a girl named Marie Francis - I kind of like her! taught me how to dance. On the last day I dropped back to 5th. I didn't win but I had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends, and sailed my best. I never thought that there would be so much competition." Bobby Noonan, age 13, Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Club.
"I thought the regatta was good. I started the clinic and then the regatta. I stayed here a week before with the Thompsons. I thought the regatta was good wind. During the second day someone was driving on the
course for no reason and hit me and blocked me for 10 sec. and that made me a little mad. Overall I thought it was a good regatta and I got third overall and 1st in red fleet. This is my third year here. Wakeboarding rules!!!" Erik Bindslev, 13 years old, from Marco Island, Fla. and sail for St. Pete Yacht Club.
"I thought the regatta went great. We had good wind every day. I thought that the race committee did a good job." Cullen Shaughnessy, 12 years old, Marco Island, Fl.
"I thought the regatta was fun and well run except for one race, when everybody got to go through the start and I was messed up. It was very exciting to meet new people and new friends. I had a great time and my competition was Cullen Shansey from the USA. Cullen Shansey beat me overall by one point. I got second overall and first in white fleet. The kid that almost beat me for second place was Erik Bindslev, he is also from the USA. I've lived on St. Thomas all my life. I've been sailing for seven years in Opti's." Cy Thompson, 10 yrs old from St. Thomas.
"May I please have a chocolate lolly?" Sailor from Trinidad (asking for a ice cream bar)
"Can I put this fish I caught in your refrigerator?" Two sailors from BVI about the Spanish Mackerel they caught on the way to St. Thomas.
"Please, Thank you, and Where can I put my dirty dishes?" 60 young sailors from all over
Well, now you've heard it from the experts. Good wind, great competition, new friends, even comments on the Race Committee. Heartfelt congratulations to all the racers. Kudos to all the parents that encourage and sacrifice so that their children and others are introduced to this opportunity to grow into healthy, strong, competitive and wholesome human beings. Again, racers, you made us proud.
And a P.S. on this report, A GIANT THANK YOU to Regatta Directors: Marie Canfield and Christine Thompson, St. Thomas Yacht Club Commodore: Ed Drury, my Kitchen help: Melanie, Charlie, Barbara, Kirk, Kathy and Kevin, the Race Committee and all the volunteers and sponsors that work so hard to be role models everyone can be proud of.