Kai Marks-Dasent, a 13-year-old Vincentian accomplished a remarkable feat on Sunday by sailing solo 10 miles from St. Vincent to Bequia, in what the SVG Sailing Association said is a record for future attempts.
The journey was completed in 1 hour and 12 minutes and aimed to raise funds for Marks-Dasent and his teammates to participate in international sailing competitions, with his goal of reaching the Olympics in 2028.
To attend an international regatta, the sailor’s parents and guardians are required to contribute over half the required finances.
“Sailing is an expensive sport and has additional costs like the hiring of boats, and equipment at venues which can really add up, so Kai has embarked on this journey to help bridge the financial gap for the team, for the upcoming year,” the association said in a press release.
It said the avid sailor expressed gratitude to all of his sponsors, notably highlighting the significant support from his family, especially his mother Sabrina, father Brian, and brother Rio.
The sail garnered substantial support from various sponsors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“This puts Kai well on his way to achieving the Vincy Sailing team’s fundraising target. Kai’s aspirations extend beyond this initial success, with hopes of attracting larger sponsors in the future to help fulfil his Olympic dream,” the association said.
The route, from the Blue Lagoon markers in St. Vincent to the Devil’s Table marker in Bequia, showcased Marks-Dasent sailing prowess, navigating 2-meter rollers with confidence in approximately 12 to 15 knots of wind.
“I loved it, the surfing was my favourite part,” the sailors said. “I was really happy with my boat, which was donated by Queen Mary Sailing Club in the UK and shipped over by Kestrel Liners, so a huge thank you to them. And I’m so excited to be attending the international regattas with my teammates”.
As Marks-Dasent set sail, he was cheered on by a supportive crowd of family and friends who gathered to wish him good luck.
In Bequia, he was welcomed by Kerry from Bar One as he reached Devils Table, adding a touch of community celebration to the accomplishment.
Sabrina Marks-Dasent, the sailor’s mother, expressed pride in her son’s determination and the family’s collective effort to make his dream a reality.
“Kai has raised enough money to contribute to two international events this year for the Vincy Sailing team: the Open Skiff North American Championships in Augusta, Georgia, where Vincy Sailing has a team of three including Kai attending, and the Antigua National Championships, team to be decided, where he aims to surpass his silver medal from last year,” she stated.
“This record-breaking sail not only marks a personal triumph for Kai Marks Dasent but also symbolizes the strength of community support in realising dreams, the association said.