Posted on February 6, 2018 by Scot Allen
Three Mid-Pacific student-sailors recently had the honor of sailing in New Zealand the week of Jan. 15, after they were invited to compete by sailing legend Sir Russell Coutts, who had seen the students at other races around the world.
Freshman Gavin Ball and seventh graders Kamana'o Morton and JP Lattanzi competed in the under 16 category in Open B.I.C. 9-foot boats. Sailing is an international sport; the three have competed in Australia, Bermuda, Europe, the Mainland U.S. and, of course, inter-island.
Gavin raced every day while there and placed sixth overall. He placed first on one day and third in two other races.
"The competition is really tough," Ball said. "Everyone has the thing they are best at... the person who is the best overall is the one who learns from all of the other people."
His own learning opportunities came in light wind and flat water, noting that his personal style and strengths are best suited to medium winds with a slight chop.
All three sailors agree that they are not yet heavy enough to do battle in high winds and rough water, as they can't yet apply enough leverage (weight) to balance their boats.
"It was an awesome competition with the best sailors from around the world," Lattanzi, fifth overall, said. "It's good to travel and meet new people!"
"Sailing is a fun sport," said Morton, noting the ever-changing winds and challenges of the colder water.