An SVG Sailing Association summer sail camp tour initiated by Petit Bordel resident Benny Mathews and his son Leonard, took place in the North Leeward community on July 22 and 23.
Twelve youngsters aged 8 to 15 enrolled in the camp, which was supported by Barefoot Yacht Charters, for a two-day introduction to sailing, with the aim of setting up a club sometime in the future.
Light winds and sunshine set the scene for safety and land drills, before launching into the beautiful Petit Bordel Bay, with its dramatic cliffs and islets.
The young sailors soon got the hang of helming and headed off confidently out to sea, before being turned around by the safety boats, manned by Oscar Shilling and Martin Ince.
When the wind got up, there were shrieks of laughter as the boats accelerated through the waves.
Scarlett Hadley, a coach at Vincy Sailing Club, sailed one of the training boats, passing on her skills “I really enjoyed sailing here, it is so beautiful”.
Benny Matthews was evacuated to the south of the island during the eruption of La Soufriere in 2021, and reignited his love of sailing with the Vincy Sailing Club, which operates out of Blue Lagoon Marina.
After returning home, he asked if it would be possible to run a sail camp for the children of Petit Bordel.
“My parents, grandparents and I all sailed when we were young. We don’t have much activity for the youth of the village, so it is wonderful to be able to run a camp like this, the parents are very proud,” Benny said.
“SVGSA is committed to a sailing programme that will teach sailing skills within the community. The main aim is to have fun, but also to discover talent, to represent SVG in competitions, and help sailors get vocational qualifications for careers in the industry,” a press release said.
The 12 sailors from Petit Bordel are: Jediaca Edwards, Kevyah Jordon, Michino Watkins, Khalia Edwards, Kimmonika Providence, Jante Hooper, Laricia Pierie, Mekal Yorke, Jeshawn Deipesche, Jaden Lavia, Jollonya Edwards and Jerany Jack.