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Belize Optimist National Championship

by Shelley Bradley 13 Nov 2014 14:35 GMT 8-9 November 2014

A female emerges as National Optimist Champion for the first time ever in Belize, Placencia. With light winds on her side and revealing that she is a skilful tactician to contend with, 14 yr old Blanca Velasquez of San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), emerged as the new National Optimist Champion in Belize. After two days of 6 races November 8th and 9th and coping with 3-6 knot winds, the field of 15 racers that qualified to compete for the nationals tried every trick in the book to get underway. Blanca consistently took either 1st or 2nd place, slipping to third once in the last race of the regatta. This was enough for her to cruise into 1st place overall.

Two competing sailors closely pursued Blanca during the regatta, but 15 yr. old Chritian Trejo of SPJSC settled for 2nd Place, and 2013 National Champ, 13 yr. old Trent Hardwick of Belize Sea Scouts, took the 3rd place and now relinquishes the Deny Bradley perpetual Trophy to Blanca.

The other Top 10 finishers were: Faith Noel and Jerdon Anderson both of SPJSC finished 4th and 5th place, respectively. Antonio Ricardez and Nashira Ricardez of the Belize City Sailing Club took 6th and 7th place, respectively; Christopher Young of Corozal Bay Sailing Club finished 8th and Tyler Garbutt and Patrick Rhamdas of Placencia Sailing Club took 9th and 10th place, respectively.

Blanca Velasquez took home the top female sailor of the year award and Jerdon Anderson received the award for top male sailor of the year for sailing consistently over the 2014 Belize Sailing Association regatta series.

In the Green fleet category of twelve sailors sailing their first year, Placencia demonstrated that their club has a lot of depth in their club and will be a force to reckon with in the coming years. 13 yr. old Conner Rhamdas and 8 yr old Christian Ferrel, both of PSC, took 1st and 2nd place, respectively.

The Belize Sailing Association is especially grateful to the Tipsy Tuna for their support.

BzSA Chair Shelley Bradley said "Sailing continues to grow at a fast pace in Belize and I truly enjoyed seeing how much the boys and girls have improved this year. We look forward to a time when these sailors grow up to be women and men who can take the helm and continue to provide safe, healthy and fun opportunities for the next generation of sailors. That is my hope."

For more information contact the Belize Sailing Association at or visit us at

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