WEDNESDAY. JULY 11: Character counts for a lot.
While Jesse and Zander Kirkland could have spent the time training or tuning up for the Olympics, which starts in 16 days, they instead decided to help give back to the sport they love.
The 49’er Class sailors held a clinic this past weekend to help develop Bermuda’s next generation of skiff sailors.
Using the 29’er boat, they taught nine 15 to 20 year olds some of the finer points of skiff sailing.
Those benefiting from the Kirklands’ knowledge were Dimitri Stevens, TreMayne Bean, Mackenzie Cooper, Kalin Hillier, Connor Astwood, Ellie Wollmann, Hannah Horsfield along with brothers Jordan and Jason Saints.
Using the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club as a base, they were impressed with the talent the younger sailors displayed.
Jesse said: “We have a lot of talent in the youth ranks, and it’s great getting them involved in the 29er, the feeder class to our boat (the 49er).
“Skiff sailing is very exciting, and we’re hoping these guys and girls are the beginning of something promising here.”
Zander added: “We were stoked to work with Bermuda’s next generation of skiff sailors.
“We tried to work them through their paces in a practice similar to what we do in the 49er.
“The short course racing seems basic in a normal sailboat, but in these skiffs, technique is everything and that is what these short courses put a premium on. “Throughout the weekend, we emphasized boat handling and the amount of work needed to put in that department in these boats.
“Ya, its tough and not easy, but all the work is worth it. You sail the Ferrari of the Olympic Classes and rip around the race course.”
The Kirklands are enjoying a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation before they head back to the Olympic sailing venue of Weymouth.
A sending-off party was held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Friday. RBYC commodore Somers Kempe wished them good luck with hopes of claiming Bermuda’s first Olympic sailing medal.