Sailing has been an Olympic sport since the very first games in Athens in 1896. And interesting fact to me – it was a gender independent sport until 1988. Women and men competing together. Apparently that is what gender-independent means.
Sailing has also been a huge part of quite a few lives in different parts of Belize. Villages like Sarteneja…and Hopkins…places where many men went out on sail boats fishing, commercially for lobster and conch, some still doing so today.
I’ll show you this scene for the 108th time – because I love it. The Belize River in Belize City. The working fishing fleet.
But like many things these days, traditional ways are put aside for new modern techniques and modern pastimes and many kids, even in traditional fishing areas, are growing up without learning how to sail.
Just recently (within the past 5 years), groups/clubs around Belize have started to work to bring back the sport. And how to race competitively. And some of this fresh crop of sailors even have their eyes set on the 2020 Olympics.
This resurrgence is pretty cool. And there have been regattas this year all over the country – from Honey Camp in Orange Walk to Caye Caulker and Belize City. Yesterday was the end of the National Championship at The Tipsy Tuna Bar, Restaurant and Beach Club in Placencia. Two beautiful days of sailing…and hanging out at the newly refurbished spot.
I took a few pictures. And here they are.
Saturday was THE MOST GORGEOUS DAY. But one with very little wind – when I dropped by at around 11pm, sailing was supposed to be in full swing but the kids were waiting for just a little breeze.
The Tipsy has always been a super colorful comfortable spot with tons of room and a gorgeous GORGEOUS beach. But now they have expanded and switched up the menu a bit. Love this spot.
And a second story deck over the water!
And this picture taken by Britany Linton shows it from the other side – with all the beautiful chairs lined up.
The Corozal team was there, Belize City and the kids from San Pedro. The top sailor in the country – Jerdon and the top female – Faith – are both from SP. And posed for a picture.
The trophies and medals were on display.
And sailing hadn’t even started! I decided to come back the next day for the finale and the awards ceremony.
Sunday was a bit more overcast but at least there was a slight wind.
I tried the Tipsy Cheeseburger. And it was delicious.
I didn’t even take any pictures of the boats sailing! But, in my defense, they were quite a bit offshore – to maximize the wind away from Placencia Caye – and looked pretty tiny. Plus the awards are the most exciting part…right?
The big winner for the day – a girl well known and loved in San Pedro – Blanca Velasquez! I got teared up as she went up for 3 awards in a row.
And take a look…this was no small group of sailors to beat.
She was number one in this regatta!
2nd Place went to Christian Trejo, also from San Pedro and 3rd to Trent Hardwick of the Sea Scouts.
And then the best sailors for the season.
Super cool event. And fantastic that kids and adults are getting excited about sailing again. And local children are getting to travel around the country…not always an easy thing for people to do.
And Belize…with the sea and the reef- there are few more perfect places to enjoy sailing.
Make sure to stop by the Tipsy Tuna. A fantastic spot to grab lunch and…fritter your afternoon away with a bucket of beers by the sea.