sailing in belize

When is the Last Time You ….?

When is the last time you were trying to run an errand on your lunch break and hit the one hour roadblock where all the places you wanted to go were closed?

Leisa and I were talking about the San Pedro town slowdown last week when we met her at Fido’s,  it had just happened to her. I told her how Dick and I were planning an errand run the day before and we had planned our whole trip around that very thing. Of course we ended up on Belize time by 15 minutes or so. That idea went out the window and left us going for a nice joyride around town while we waited for BTL to open.

Today I was thinking about meeting Mary1220 and DW as they arrive at Tropic Air  on the 12:40. Once again I find myself having to consider where I want to go and what is the best timing to make it all fit.

san pedro town
Riding to town
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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!

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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 third annual optimist 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.

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.  What a glorious weekend for the whole Puc family; Davin’s older sister Naiely had been crowned Miss San Pedro just the night before!

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 took  6th place in the race for the trophy and was the next highest finish by a Team San Pedro skipper.

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.

 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.

The Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) is to be heartily 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.

Respectfully submitted,
Forrest Jones, Press Officer, San Pedro Sailing Club

Pictures courtesy of  Forrest Jones and Matt Jones.

belize mexico
Dignitaries’ boats
belize sailing
Some of the action
sailing in belize
View from the course
st georges caye belize  youth sailing optimist regatta
More of the action
 youth sailing optimist regatta belize
Davin Puc wining the trophy
sailing in belize
Team San Pedro

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