San Pedro Team photo:
Front row from left to right: Mitchel Sersland, Christian Trejo, Jorge Oliveres, Blanca Velasquez, Kevin Velasquez, Davin Puc (w/ Trophy), Samantha Velasquez, Stephanie Keating.
Left to right back row: Luis Oliveres, Cade Segura, Zulema Ayala, Beverly Medrano, Faith Noel, Jerdon Anderson.
Very rear: Commodore and trainer Andy Milner with Lily Hayden peeking between Faith and Davin.

In tough competition, Davin Puc of San Pedro Captures the 3rd Annual Battle of St. George's Caye Commemorative Regatta Trophy

Beginning with last September's historic first regatta at St. George's Caye, Team San Pedro's young Optimist sailors have dominated the competition in that class. On Sunday, September 3, in the second annual regatta commemorating the historic 1798 naval battle that won the right of what is now Belize to establish independence and to expand upon freedom, our intrepid young skippers received a bit of a wake-up call.

View from the course

Yes, on this day, as has been their custom, San Pedro skippers sailed skillfully through the preliminaries to take half - 8 out of 16 - of the places in the final. Yes, that in itself is a feat for these sailors to be proud of. And yes, Davin Puc, age 14 of San Pedro High School - who placed 2nd last year - took a masterful first in his qualifying heat and won the final with conviction too, to capture the trophy and keep it in San Pedro. Congratulations to Davin Puc for a very skillfully achieved victory.

Davin Puc wining the trophy

What a glorious weekend for the whole Puc family; Davin's older sister Naiely had been crowned Miss San Pedro just the night before! If you want to see a really proud mom, check out the accompanying photo.

A proud mom with her 2 winners: Left to right, Davin Puc, his mother, Marfa, his sister Naiely Puc.

Yet, the 7 other finalists from San Pedro found that virtually all the other sailing clubs have improved substantially. There was to be no San Pedrano sweep as there had been last year. After Davin's victory, Faith Noel's 6th place in the race for the trophy was the next highest finish by a Team San Pedro skipper.

Some of the action

Joshua McKenzie of Sea Scouts took second; Delroy Hinds of Liberty Sailing Club placed third. Out of medal contention but still in the top 5 were Darwin Velasquez of Corozal Bay followed by Antonio Ricardez, Jr. of Belize City. And, although she had trouble in the final, Nashira Ricardez of Belize City had sailed to a blistering fast win in her qualifying heat, besting the second fastest time of the day - turned in by San Pedro's Kevin Velasquez in the boat behind her - by a full 30 seconds.

More of the action

This annual regatta has already become an inspiration to government. From now on, every year, Belize's September Independence Celebration Month will officially begin with a ceremony and fiesta on St. George's Caye and with this commemorative Battle Regatta. This year, the large and elaborate ceremony was replete with a wonderfully melodious steel drum band. The dignitaries in attendance and enjoying the regatta and festivities are too numerous to recount here.

Dignitaries' boats

The Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) is to be heartilyy congratulated for popularizing the colorful event to such an extent and - no mean feat - for its masterful coordination and execution of the races themselves. Various participants regard this regatta as BzSA's best one yet.

Besides the Optimists, upwards of three other classes of boats are in the regatta, all racing different courses at the same time. So it is quite a spectacle! �. Yet it is the kids - all the intrepid young skippers in their Optimist dinghies - who have made it all possible and who will make St. George's Caye the place to be the first Sunday of each September. Congratulations to all the young skippers for that accomplishment, as well as for the talents they are evolving among the winds and waves.

Note: The San Pedro Junior Sailing Team is collecting items for a Yard Sale on the 22nd of September. You may donate to the team and drop off unwanted items between now and then to Asian Gardens Day Spa in town (by Ramon's). The team is raising funds for a sailing Regatta in Corozal on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of October. Please bring all books, clothes, household items, anything gently used, appliances, furniture. Anything and everything!

We will be having ice coffees, coffees, brownies and some desserts early on and burgers at lunch time! Come support our fabulous team and meet the sailors!