On August 6, 2008, Amy DesBrisay and Kate Thomas flew to Halifax to sail in the ING Youth National Sailing Championships hosted by the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. This regatta is the first qualifying regatta for the the Canadian double handed teams that will represent the country in the 2009 World Youth Championships in Brazil.
The week started with a well run two day training seminar, coordinated by national level coaches. The kids had sessions on 420 rigging and tuning and the psychology of racing. They were run through racing and sailing drills by the coaches in preparation for the racing which was to begin August 9, 2008.
The Regatta that followed had 26 420 boats (from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario), as well as Laser boys, Radial boys, Radial girls, 29er and Byte classes. There were a total of 199 sailors in the Regatta from 9 provinces,
It became quickly evident as the racing got underway that 3 420 crews from Nova Scotia were the class of the field, but the girls raced superbly staying up with the leaders and battling with about 7 boats for spots 4 through 10 in the final standings. The girls came out of the regatta with a 5th place standing, lots of amazing memories of their East Coast experience, new friends from Lunenberg, Chester and Halifax and an invitation to return in the Fall for some season ending race training at a clinic being run by the resident Canadian Olympic Team Coach…quite the experience!
The girls were presented with a CYA 5th place certificate by Gerry Giffen, former SLSC head instructor and now president of the CYA. They then packed up to fly to Ottawa to join their teammates for the Ontario Summer Games.
Many thanks go out to Steve Crighton, Heather, Lewis and Nora for the use of their house in Halifax and to the Lunenberg coaches for adopting the girls.
What was truly noteworthy in the Regatta was the sportsmanship exhibited by kids from all clubs. Altogether a wonderful experience.