Pohnpei Sailing Club held the second day of preliminary races and the semi-finals on 28 July in Sokeh’s lagoon.
Dr. Kazuo Ishikawa is indefatigable in his devotion to the sailing and to the youth of the local community. On this day he would spend six hours under the tropical sun and torrential rain as the race director. His boundless energy is inspirational.
The Topper sailing dinghies that the youth are sailing were provided by Dr. Umezu of South Park Hotel. Without his generosity the sailing lessons and regatta would not be possible. He was the first to have a dream of local youngsters sailing on their waters, and the only one who made that dream a reality.
With the semi-final heats completed, the fleet returned to port with tired and exhausted sailors.
Summer brings a time to grow and learn new skills, a chance to shift from being a student to a teacher.
A three year has a chance to use a tire wrench for the first time. Too much Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam videos on the brain, the little guy really wants to fix and repair real things.
Summer is a chance to take on new roles in new places, to at least for a day pretend one is a college student with papers to type, research to be done.
There is still learning to be obtained. Bowline knots are a mainstay of sailing.
A chance to show one’s sailing instructor that one is qualified for the next step up, and to get some specific tutoring on weak skills.
A chance to solo out on the water. Students are first sent out with young instructors. As their skills improve, they go out with a more skilled observer who rides along. Then they get to solo, master of their own boat.
A young but skilled student on a beam reach returns to the dock at speed.
On his first stint in the instructor position, my son gets the chance to be the teacher.
Having passed muster with Dr. Ishikawa, a newly minted instructor, my daughter, returns with her student to the dock.
The Topper’s are a small boat, best suited to a single adult. Loaded with a youth and an adult, the boats are a tad heavy, turning the tiller requires more effort. The skipper has to adjust to the added weight. Dr. Ishikawa asked me to be dead weight, effectively a tourist, on a boat skippered by my son. Thus I went out onto the water in a sailboat for the first time, on a boat captained by my son. And a clueless tourist I was.
Fortunately my son was good about telling me where to sit, when to duck. I have no idea how to actually sail, I was completely in his hands. I only know that the captain is in charge and as a greenhorn my job is to be quiet and do whatever I am told. That was a special experience.
Not a polo ball, just a basketball. And there is the small matter of learning to swim. When the three run into the water they shout, “Let’s go drowning!” And by the end of the day they have significant amounts of lagoon water inside them.
After every picture, these three insist on seeing the product. They know the images go on social media and will be seen again and again. They are born ready to throw style. Facebook ready from birth.
On Saturday July 7, 2012, the Pohnpei Sailing Club held opening ceremonies for the first Pohnpei Cup Regatta. The opening ceremony included welcoming remarks from Club Chairman Andrew Lucky and the Regatta Chair Dr. Kiyoshi Umezu. Race Director Kazuo Ishikawa briefed the skippers on the race course and rules. The skippers took an oath of good sportsmanship and a promise to abide by the rules of the regatta. The six heats each featured four Topper sailing dinghies. The day’s heats were the first day of heats, with a second day of heats scheduled for the 21st of July. Scores from the heats will be combined to determine which skippers will advance to the semi-final races.
Pohnpei Sailing Club focuses on connecting youth with sailing and the ocean. The skippers who are racing are primarily young boys and girls from the local community. The Club provides the opportunity for the local youth to participate in an activity that they would not otherwise have access to. As skippers the young girls and boys also gain self-esteem and confidence. The more experienced youth act as student instructors for newer club members. As instructors, these young people gain a unique opportunity in a leadership role with a responsibility of guiding and teaching others.
Chief Lucky addressed the skippers in both English and Kapingan welcoming them and reminding them to respect the rules.