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Young islanders sail into the record books

The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club's 26th Commodore Cup at RVYC was held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 and was a special one for Bowen. The Island sent 11 competitors to the event.

The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club's 26th Commodore Cup at RVYC was held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 and was a special one for Bowen. The Island sent 11 competitors to the event. It is the largest regatta of its kind in the country and the most sailors Bowen has ever sent to compete.

"My best experience was probably just being on the water sailing with everyone else," said 13 year-old Devon Thomson who won the Laser 2 Fleet class along with partner Perry Carrol. "I also enjoyed the technique of trapezing, which is when you hang off the boat in a harness being held by a wire to keep it from capsizing."

All but one Bowen kid competed under the Bowen Yacht Club banner. Ten-year-old Mait 'the Maitman' Davis trains here and at West Van Yacht club and competed under the WVYC banner. The head coach of the Bowen team, Claire Rawlinson, took part in the regatta for Bowen while she was herself a young(er) sailor.

Florrie Levine, whose son is Mait and whose daughter Fineen coached in the regatta, said the Commodore is held annually to "bring together novice sailboat racers from sailing programs all over the Lower Mainland to compete in a fun and supportive environment."

Each year there are over 150 competitors.

Bowen owned the Laser 2 event as Islanders Keona Wishart and Callum Cole finished behind Thomson and Carrol in 2nd and Bowen's James McElwee was third in a Hollyburn boat with Alex Zastre; Bowen sailors Santana Rutherford and Tara Cole fought hard to get fourth. McElwee did Bowen even more proud by also winning the regatta's best sportsperson award.

Events were in five different classes: Optimist, Laser, Laser Radial, 420, Laser 2.

Other Bowen kids who competed in the regatta were Kye Jensen and Caelan Thomson, who both sailed solo in Laser Radials, and Robert Torok.

"This was my first time competing in any sailing race," Devon Thomson said.

"And I'd do it again without any hesitation."

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