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Teen sailor makes record-breaking voyage to support his team, Vincy Sailing, and his Olympic dreams

by Jenny Trumble 17 Jan 16:44 GMT 14 January 2024
Kai arrives at Bequia Head © Sebastian Cyrus

On Sunday 14th January 2024 13-year-old Vincentian Kai Marks Dasent accomplished a remarkable feat by sailing 10 miles from St. Vincent to Bequia, setting a record for future attempts.

The journey, completed in an impressive 1 hour and 12 minutes, aimed to raise funds for Kai and his teammates to participate in international sailing competitions, with his goal of reaching the Olympics in 2028.

To attend an international regatta the parents and guardians are required to contribute over half the required finances. Sailing is an expensive sport and has additional costs like the hiring of boats, and equipment at venues which can really add up, so Kai has embarked on this journey to help bridge the financial gap for the team, for the upcoming year. The avid sailor expressed gratitude to all of his sponsors, notably highlighting the significant support from his family, especially his mother Sabrina, father Brian, and brother Rio.

The sail garnered substantial support from various sponsors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, such as such as Bar One, Jaden Sun, Dell's Apartments, Mustique Company, Cafe Soleil, KFC, Dive SVG, ECMIL, Minors Hardware, Last Bar Before the Jungle, Mayreau and Sugar Apple Bequia. This puts Kai well on his way to achieving the Vincy Sailing team's fundraising target. Kai's aspirations extend beyond this initial success, with hopes of attracting larger sponsors in the future to help fulfil his Olympic dream.

The route, from the Blue Lagoon markers in St Vincent to the Devil's Table marker in Bequia, showcased Kai's sailing prowess, navigating 2-meter rollers with confidence in approximately 12 to 15 knots of wind. Reflecting on the experience, Kai enthusiastically shared, "I loved it, the surfing was my favourite part. I was really happy with my boat, which was donated by Queen Mary Sailing Club in the UK and shipped over by Kestrel Liners, so a huge thank you to them. And I'm so excited to be attending the international regattas with my teammates".

As Kai set sail, he was cheered on by a supportive crowd of family and friends who gathered to wish him good luck. In Bequia, Kai was welcomed by Kerry from Bar One as he reached Devils Table, adding a touch of community celebration to the accomplishment.

Sabrina Marks-Dasent, Kai's mother, expressed pride in her son's determination and the family's collective effort to make his dream a reality. "Kai has raised enough money to contribute to two international events this year for the Vincy Sailing team: the Open Skiff North American Championships in Augusta, Georgia, where Vincy Sailing has a team of three including Kai attending, and the Antigua National Championships, team to be decided, where he aims to surpass his silver medal from last year," she stated.

The journey was documented by API and Naralayo Media, capturing the spirit of Kai's achievement. This record-breaking sail not only marks a personal triumph for Kai Marks Dasent but also symbolizes the strength of community support in realising dreams.

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