Two youth sailors with the Central Okanagan Sailing Association have won bronze medals at the 2017 International Children’s Games taking place in Lithuania.
Ryan Rubadeau and Gabriella Littleton, both 13, both finished third in the Optimist boys’ division and Laser 4.7 girls’ division races respectively.
Both sailors face several challenges along the way, noted their coach Devin Rubadeau.
“The first day of racing saw an immense storm hit the racers with sustained winds exceeding 30 knots (over 55km/hour),” Rubadeau explained.
“The entire fleet was decimated. Once the storm passed, sailing recommenced despite the children being in the water for an extended period of time.
Also challenging for the COSA sailors were the age differences. All of the sailors were the division age maximum of 15 with the exception of both Littleton and Rubadeau.
“The age difference also equaled size and experience differences. Despite the challenges, the kids were amazing representatives of Kelowna,” said their coach.
In Ontario, another COSA youth was competing at a major event as Zane Halperin finished in the top 10 at the Quinte Bay Regatta, which again saw big winds hampering the competitors.
Closer to home, Claire Ramsey and Ian Wright finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the Optimist Blue fleet at the Waves regatta in Vancouver.
Kyle Wright finished 4th in the White Fleet, while Katherine and Mackenzie Littleton finished in the top 20 in the large Laser Radial fleet.
At the BC Sailing Championships the following weekend, Ian Wright almost finished the regatta in first place but had to settle for second following a tie-breaker.
The COSA Race Team continues to train this summer as youth sailors ready for competitions around the Pacific Northwest.