Cruickshank makes silver-fleet as young sailors gain experience
Bermuda’s young sailors have performed with credit at the North American Championships.
The team of Shiloh Cruickshank, Miguel Powers, Oliver Soares, Trystan Hocking, Nina Gotfredson and Dylan Menzies all produced some great races with Cruickshank making it on to the podium in the silver fleet.
Team leader Dede Cooper was particularly pleased with the progress of Cruickshank, who is a product of the America’s Cup Endeavour Programme for youth sailors.
“Shiloh really performed well in the silver fleet,” Cooper said. “It was great to have a Bermudian on the podium and we were screaming and cheering when his name got called out. He was proud to be up there, which was great and it’s always nice to see Bermudians on stage. He got a plaque for coming second in the silver fleet.
“He is a product of the Endeavour Programme and neither of his parents sail. He knew nothing about sailing and he got invited to the programme and it became pretty obvious to the coaches that he was naturally gifted. The fact that he started in Endeavour and is now a member of the national squad is impressive and hopefully inspiring to other kids.”
Cruickshank, who finished 54th in the 180-strong regatta finished just a few places ahead of Miguel Powers, who received a penalty for a poor start in one race, which really cost him.
“Miguel Powers would have joined Shiloh on the podium but if you cross the start line early you get UFD [U-Flagged], which means you are penalised and your finishing position is the number of sailors in your fleet plus 1. He had one bad race on the last day and that meant he had to use that score.”
Although Cruickshank and Powers were the standout performers on the team, Cooper feels all her youngsters are on the verge of making huge breakthroughs in competition.
“The thing with sailing is it takes so much practice to become intuitive so instead of having to think, you start to do the right things without even knowing you are doing them. These guys are still at the stage that it requires a lot of thinking and they felt they knew they could do better but just weren’t sure how to do it.
“They are really on the precipice of starting to take off and put all the great results in place and we will see all the sailing results increase as the year goes on. That’s my feeling, that we are building and that they will grow as sailors.
With the North American Championships out of the way, the focus for these talented young sailors turns to the Bermuda National Championship on December 4 to 6, with the Orange Bowl in Miami from December 26 to 30 the next major international event.