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.