In a sport that’s traditionally dominated by boys, it’s becoming more common to see girl sailors on the water. That fact is no more apparent than at the RenaissanceRe Jr. Gold Cup. The Organizing Authority has made special allocations to ensure that 25% of the invited competitors are female. With girls achieving sailing success all over the world, it has not been difficult to find those accomplished females for this special invitational.
Mia Nicolosi, age 12, from the US Virgin Islands is proving that the girls have come to compete. She’s had two great days on the water. On day one, she finished third overall and after a bullet in her first race on day two is now in fourth place overall after 8 races. She’s no stranger to Bermuda, having competed here in 2013 for the North American Championships. Her older brother, Teddy Nicolosi, was also invited in 2013 for the Junior Gold Cup where he finished 7th overall. Her competitive spirit might very well have been encouraged at home - when asked if her brother gave her any tips for the race, she politely said no, but added “my goal is to place higher than he did!” With how she’s been sailing, that outcome is certainly possible.
Nicolosi’s hostess, local Leyli Walker is also familiar with having inspiring sailors in the family. Her father, Blythe Walker, is one of Bermuda’s most recognized sailors. Having competed in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, he is also competing in this year’s Gold Cup, marking his 12th appearance this regatta. Blythe’s father, Jordy Walker, has been credited with rekindling the Gold Cup by introducing fiber-glass IODs to the fleet and reinventing the format of the long standing regatta. With a rich familial history in this special event, Leyli age 11, is excited to be a part of her third Jr. Gold Cup. Since her first appearance, she’s climbed the ranks each year, hoping this year will be no different.
The Regatta Co-Chair, Dede Cooper, in her 8th year running the regatta says, “it’s great to have these talented girls here in Bermuda highlighting the potential for our local female sailors to recognize that they can compete at a high international level and be right in the mix with the boys”.
For full results, please go to http://juniorgoldcup.com/results
By Christina Sgobba
October 8, 2015
Hamilton, Bermuda: With 45 sailors entered and 15 countries represented, many familiar countries are here competing in the 2015 RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup. Debuting their countries flags for the first time, Spain’s Ignacio 'Nacho' Davila finished day one 1st overall with Norway’s Mathias Berthet in fourth and the British Virgin Island’s Rayne Duff rounding the top of the newcomer field finishing in fifth place.
After a wet and thunderous start to the day, the race committee decided to hold the first races of the day in the Hamilton Harbour in case a another squall should blow through. Once the weather settled a bit the fleet moved further out to Granaway deep to finish the day completing five races. Spain’s Davila and Norway’s Berthet reported unexpected shifty winds in the harbour and more consistent conditions in Granaway. Although the weather made for challenging races, both sailors were very pleased with the warm water temperatures.
While Duff felt the waters were colder than his home of the British Virgin Islands, the level of competition also impressed him. “There are a lot of countries represented with a lot of competitive sailors. It feels like I’m at the Worlds Championships – the top of the pack is the same level of talent.”
Light winds are forecasted for day two of racing. This may lead to longer wait times and the possibility of a long race day on Saturday. There are 7 more races scheduled with the final race in Hamilton Harbour on Sunday. -- Christina Sgobba