2nd place overall BVI- 2 in action on the final day.
Photo Credit: Alastair Abrehart
Impressive aptly describes the performance delivered by Anguilla, who won the 2012 Kids And The Sea (KATS) Premier's Cup, retaining the title they won in 2011.
Second place went to team BVI 2, with third place going to the Bahamas.
The other teams competing were Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Cayman, USA Sail Caribbean and the other local team, BVI 1.
Racing took place in the Sir Francis Drake channel off Nanny Cay Marina all day on Saturday and also on Sunday morning, with 17 races conducted in total. Racing was conducted in Caribbean-one design IC-24's.
With 8 teams entering, each team rotated the boat they used during the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions, and again in the Sunday morning session. Boat rotation is conducted to ensure no team obtains an advantage from sailing one particular boat.
On Saturday, the weather conditions were excellent for sailing, with east-south-easterly winds blowing in a consistent direction between 14 and 17 knots. The conditions made for exciting racing and it was immediately clear that all the teams were competing fiercely, but also in a sportsmanlike manner. This was apparent when a couple of teams were "over early" at the start, requiring them to return to the start line!
By Saturday lunchtime, Anguilla had established a solid lead, thanks to several first-place finishes, with several teams including BVI 2 in contention for second place.
After lunch on Saturday, the first boat rotation was held and the racing remained as competitive as the morning session. However, the rotation clearly had an impact, with BVI 2 able to post two wins in the afternoon session. They did not finish outside the top-three in the afternoon session, with the result that they held second place by a considerable margin at the end of the first day. Anguilla, however, remained dominant and had established a very comfortable lead.
At the end of the first day, three protests were entered and the protest committee met with the relevant teams to establish whether any sanctions should be applied. As a result, team Puerto Rico was disqualified from races 5 and 10, dropping them to 5th place in the rankings.
On Sunday morning the weather forecast of stronger winds proved to be correct, with easterly winds gusting to 22 knots.
The race committee met with the team coaches prior to the morning's racing to ensure all teams felt they were safe to race in the demanding conditions. Everyone gave the green light and racing commenced. There was a slight delay to the first start of the day since team USA needed a repair on their boat. Once this was completed, racing started and the stronger winds made for more exciting racing. All of the teams coped with the windy conditions extremely well.
In the final race, team Cayman had a man overboard at the leeward mark, but they turned around and recovered him very quickly. Safety boats were on hand, but were not called upon because of Cayman's rapid recovery.
At the end, team Anguilla was a convincing winner, accumulating a very impressive low score of 25 points. Only 9 points separated the teams from 2nd to 6th places, a testimony to the competitiveness of the regatta.
The race committee thanked KATS and all of the sponsors and everyone who volunteered on the water.