Smithers resident Keelor Powers (right) teamed with Rio Liu (left) to score a fifth place result at the National Sea Cadet Regatta in Kingston, Ont. last week. (Lt. Theresa Naluz photo)

Smithers sailor excels at competition

The 18-year-old member of the Sea Cadets placed fifth at the National Sea Cadet Regatta.

Smithers might not seem to be the primary spot for competitive sailing but don’t tell that to Keelor Powers.

The 18-year-old member of the Sea Cadets has recently had a very successful season on the water which culminated in a fifth place finish at the National Sea Cadet Regatta in Kingston, Ontario.

“When I tell people where I’m from and some of the things that we don’t have, they are very surprised,” he said.

Powers was the crew member of a 420 boat which represented BC in the national competition which was recently completed. He teamed up with Rio Liu, who was the skip of the craft.

Powers explained his duties were many during racing.

“I have to balance the boat. I controls the jib sail (front) when it’s very windy. Sometimes I’ll will be on the trapeze, hanging out of the boat on a wire. On down wind segments I control the big colorful spinnaker,” he said.

The craft is 4.2 meters in length and requires great skill in order to get the maximum speed.

Powers said that he gained an interest in the sport while in Smithers. “There was someone I looked up to and I wanted to be like him, so I started sailing,” he said.

Sailing was done on local lakes such as Babine and he next started going to camps in the summer to improve his skills. This summer he was in Kingston for six weeks after qualifying for the national regatta at a competition in Victoria.

Next year, Powers plans to take courses at the community college level while he decides his future career.

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