(Mirte Coppelmans photo)
SIMPSON BAY – Eleven-year-old Caii Banting won the Optimist Class of the St. Maarten Yacht Club’s Season Championship.
A total of 36 races since October made up the complete series in five different classes of boats including Optimists, Lasers, Laser Pico’s, RS Quests, and SunFast 20’s.
Three days of the Hope-Ross Series made up the last 11 races which concluded on Saturday with moderate wind conditions out in the Simpson Bay Lagoon where the focus was on tactics.
Adriaan Coppelmans and Chris de Wilde came out second and third overall.
During the Hope-Ross Series Coppelmans and de Wilde engaged in a “sail off” with de Wilde taking second place by only one-point difference. Veronica Destin took 3rd place.
In the RS Quest Summer Jean Morton and Mathijs Detering commanded the class with first place finishes in all but three races they completed for the season.
Justin Pieterse and Ajani Destin were second overall with Reinier Calkhoven and Grace Cheasley third. Summer was called forward twice more to collect 1st place in the Hope-Ross Series and Overall Youth winner of the 3-day Series.
Sailing instructor Nils Jannichsen and Lisanne came in second and Arthur Banting and Caoimhe (Keeva) third.
Jolyon Ferron, who started out in the SMYC Youth Sailing Program as a young boy, is now a force to be reckoned with in the Laser Class giving veteran sailor Frits Bus a run for his money. Jolyon took home first overall in the Season Championship with Frits second and Ryan Hope-Ross third. The day became more victorious as Jolyon also got to collect first place in the Hope-Ross Series and Overall Adult winner of this 3-day Series. 13-year-old Emma Lennox wasn’t afraid to take on these sailing giants and showed how comfortable she is sailing her Laser 4.7 by coming second. Ryan represented the family name in the Hope-Ross Series and claimed third place.
In the SunFast 20 Class, Robbie Ferron, head of the SMYC Sailing Committee, and Ernst Looser sailed consistently over the months to capture first overall, with Garth Steyn and Kippy Gilders second, and Rien Korteknie third. These competitive teams have been giving each other fierce competition all year.
Newcomer in the SunFast 20’s, Ian Martin, stepped up for 2 days of the 3 day Hope-Ross Series and took over the race course winning the SunFast 20 Class for the Hope-Ross Series, leaving Robbie and Garth behind him in second and third respectively.
The Laser Pico Class saw Melina de Vries take home first overall, Jayden Aventurin second, and Ajani Blake third. 10-year-old Chiara Corvellec and 7-year-old Cato de Wilde joined the Season Championships in January during the Hoedemaker Series and competed together consistently ever since, showing their skills during the Hope-Ross Series claiming second place, right behind Louka Williams in first place.
The Race Committee consisted of Paul Henriquez, Corinne Draesner and Clenda Pecht.