A local Smithers cadet recently sailed to first place in Comox.
Chief Petty Officer Second Class Dylan Cramer of 204 Babine Sea Cadets won first place at the BC 420 sailing championships.
The Comox regatta and BC 420 championship race was held at the Comox Bay Sailing Club July 29 and 30.
A regatta is a series of boat races. This race format was nine races over the two days.
The boat that was used for the race was the 420 sailboat also known as a two-handed dinghy that consists of a crew of two and is just over three feet long.
“Me and my partner Sebastian Wright from Manitoba — he was my Skipper and I was the crew – somebody asked if we wanted to go in it and we said yeah sure, why not,” stated Cramer.
Cramer, 18, said they had to go to a three-day training camp before the regatta race. The 60 sailboats were put in two separate categories.
“They divided the 60 boats up into a novice fleet and a championship fleet. I got into the championship fleet after the three days of training,” he said.
Moving to race day, the wind was perfect for sailing.
“Saturday was the first day of the racing. Saturday was decently windy, it got up to 10 knots (18 kilometres).
But, the wind changed on Sunday.
“It got up to a max of five knots, it wasn’t too fast that day,” Cramer said.
After the nine races, racers can drop their two worst places.
“We didn’t know what place we were, so it was start to finish every race, we needed to go as hard as possible,” he said.
It was a challenging time for the duo.
“Tuning our boat for the right wind speeds were really hard, because it’s really shifty here, so in the middle of a race – because the races are up to half-an-hour to 45 minutes long and we had to do nine of them — each race we had to re-tune our boat and it was really hard,” said Cramer.
The pair didn’t win all the races.
“We lost quite a few [races] and then we won quite a few as well,” he said.
In the end, Cramer and Wright sailed just enough for the win.
“We won two points ahead of the second place boat, so it was a real close race.”
It’s definitely not Cramer’s first regatta, he pegged his count to be over 10 separate races.
After Cramer finishes the current camp, he’ll on his way to nationals in Kingston, Ont.
“We’re taking four boats, so eight people are coming down and going to Ontario to represent the B.C. team and we’re racing against a bunch more boats — all the other provinces in Canada,” he said.