Budget Marine’s Laser and Optimist national championships

Written by, Ed Gifford

Budget Marine’s Laser and Optimist national championships sailed out of the Antigua Yacht Club this past weekend brought together the “Creme de La creme” of Antigua’s best young sailors, According to Karl James, two time Olympian  and director of youth sailing at the Antigua Yacht Club. “After the last 2 years of no National Championship because of Covid, Everyone who was keen to become the next National Laser champion of Antigua raced and the level of talent and competition was among the best I’ve ever seen competing for the title. All the best Laser sailors were out racing. If you made one mistake on any particular race, you finished in the back of the fleet.”  The winner was repeating champion Daniel Smit who Mr. James is credited with “sailing smart and consistent”.

Budget Marine’s Laser and Optimist national championships 1

Conditions were excellent. On Saturday shifty winds were gusting up to 18 out of the east and then on Sunday winds were again gusty but out of the south, an unusual wind direction  for this time of year. Both days made for challenging sailing, particularly Sunday, because “none of the racers had local knowledge. They really had to ‘keep their heads out of the boat’ to do well”.

Emily Gaillard was the winner of the  2022 Antigua National Optimist Champion title and was also the only girl racing in the optimist fleet. Emily along with 3 other “Opti” sailors who competed over the weekend will be going to the Optimist World Championships this summer in Turkey. Special thanks goes to Barbies and the ClubHouse at the Antigua Yacht Club for making delicious lunches for the racers and to Sponsor Budget Marine.   

Budget Marine’s Laser and Optimist national championships 2

List of the winners:

Laser results

1stDaniel Smit
2nd Rhone Kirby
3rd jules Mitchell


1st  Emily Gaillard
2nd Patrick Greensmith
3rd Tyden Jones

Optimist Intermediate

1st Michael Groy
2nd Imani John-Polanco
3rd Matthew Leslie