We know that the Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Metazone can run camps. We know that they can mentor young students, but can they sail? The RSYC Regatta held on 20, 21, and 27 of July provided them with a much needed change of pace from their training and camp planning. For the Regatta, BBBS sent two teams, suitably named after their boats, Team Sticky Beak and Team XOCO. The teams comprised of a couple of seasoned sailors and mainly first time racers. All except Sticky Beak’s skipper Josua only picked up sailing after joining the Metazone programs.

Jovi who was on the bow of Sticky Beak says, “It was the first full regatta that I participated in. I was with Lokesh, Edison, and Josua on Sticky Beak. We were a mix of people with different backgrounds and levels of experience in sailing. We didn’t know each other much or at all before this. Tensions were high at some points when we did not get the spinnaker up and down as efficiently as we could have. But I guess all was good eventually. We learnt where we could have done better or faster. I think overall we did alright in working together and helping each other during tacking, gybing and hoisting, although we definitely could do with faster speed and more aggression. There’s SO much more to learn, from sailing techniques to boat maintenance. I’m thankful for this opportunity to sail, and for the friendships made.”

Coach Pei Ming and Greg  discussing Team STICKY BEAK’s performance with Josua.

Li Ying, who just joined the BBBS in June, had this to say about her first competition, “It wasn’t all smooth sailing but hey, isn’t that life? There was sun, the sea, sweat, and the sunscreen… All these came together and provided an awesome experience for me. Was it tiring? Yes! Was it fulfilling? Yes! Would I go again? Definitely Yes!”

During the race, Coach Pei Ming and Greg observed the performance of the racing teams and gave them pointers in between each race. Race by race, the teams improved in their race execution in terms of boat handling techniques and boat on boat positioning.

Greg giving advice to Shahadah the Skipper of team XOCO.

Valarie who volunteered and helped with the land duties said, “I never thought that I could have the chance to witness a live sailboat race. As a spectator, I was very inspired by the BBBS team. Both teams demonstrated strong teamwork and perseverance during the race. After the race, I had the opportunity to experience what was it like to be part of a sailboat race by jumping onboard during the sail back to the marina. Teamwork and communication were the takeaways from the experience.”

For the three days, everyone involved in the regatta demonstrated resilience, patience, the hunger to learn and the eagerness to share. These are the values which the BBBS strongly believes in, that they will guide all BBBS towards a sustainable way of life. Once again they have done the BBBS team proud! We look forward to seeing them race in at the Raffles Marina Western Circuit Sailing Regatta next month!

Written by: Gideon

Editted by: Pei Ming