Young Sailors Heading For Bermuda Regatta
By PAIGE TAKEYA
Picture this: A 9-year-old boy sailing alone along the California coast in 40-knot winds; he passes some teen competitors who have given up and are waiting for rescue by Alcatraz. The boy zips past them all, staying in control of his O’Pen BIC craft.
That kind of sight is just another day’s work for the nonprofit Hawaii Kai Boat Club, according to co-founder Todd Carle. Established in 2010, it’s hungry to take its place among older seafaring institutions and bring a new attitude to Hawaii’s sailing community.
“We’re the rebels, basically. We decided to go high-tech rather than low-tech. But we’re getting some traction here. Our programs are full, every quarter,” Carle said. He’s proud that the club has embraced the fast-sailing, high-tech boat, O’Pen BIC, unlike larger clubs that are slow to switch from the traditional kind. The club also meets at The Shack Hawaii Kai, not in its own free-standing building.
Seven young members fly to Bermuda April 24-27 for the O’Pen BIC North American Championships: J.P. Lattanzi (age 9), Kona Joe Carle (9), Kanoa Pick (10), Marcos Baez (11), Kai Carle (13) and Lars Von Sydow (14) – and all have a big advantage over their mainland counterparts, Carle said. “Kids from Hawaii, they have sailing year round, whereas other North American places might have a sailing season of five months, at best.”
The club sent three competitors to O’Pen BIC’s America’s Cup last year. One Bermuda sailor – Von Sydow – is a veteran of the O’Pen BIC World Championships, having placed among the top 30 competitors. “We have some very high-quality kids,” Carle noted.
To support the Bermuda team, call 951-1111 or donate to HKBC (Attn. Bermuda Team) at 906 Koko Isle, Honolulu HI 96825. Visit hawaiikaiboatclub.com.