Aiming for the Clipper

KAPAA — Alexis Baldwin, a 3-year Sea Scout, is hopeful the Kauai group of 18 Sea Scouts will come home with the Clipper ranking following The Ancient Mariner Regatta which will be held in California during the Memorial Day weekend.

“I remember when it was just Tessa Ramsey and myself,” said Baldwin, one of the four petty officers, or student leaders. “This is the third time we’re participating in The Ancient Mariner Regatta and everyone has been doing really good at practice. Last year, we made goal of Schooner and finished just a few points of Clipper. We just have to try and buckle down on the crew.”

Commodore Larry Richardson said 20 people from Kauai, including the new West Kauai Sea Scout Unit, Ship 12, “Kia‘iokekai,” will be traveling to California to compete in the Sea Scouting’s largest competition, The Ancient Mariner Regatta. They plan to leave Kauai on May 26 and return May 31.

“This is like the Olympics of seamanship,” Richardson said. “Unlike a football game where players go to win, The Ancient Mariner Regatta is about attaining goals. The Clipper is one of the higher rankings in the program, and there will be other Sea Scouting programs going for the same ranking. This is truly about seamanship.”

Richardson said the different programs compete in 40 seamanship events and earn points toward the eventual ranking.

“This is very exciting,” said Naya Shaw, a Sea Scout for 18 months. “Last year was my first time at The Ancient Mariner Regatta and it was all new and exciting. It was super fun. We get to learn about how to deal with different situations, and learn different leadership skills. Hopefully, this year, we can get Clipper.”

Richardson said the group will be under the direction of four petty officers, with the remainder being crew.

“The petty officers do all the work,” Richardson said. “It’s like being on a cruise. I sit in the galley and sip my coffee in the morning, watching the coastline pass by through the windows. Outside, I hear the voices of the leaders making the ship run. This Ancient Mariner Regatta is about leadership, and is a real opportunity for the young people to experience being leaders.”

Richardson said it’s also exciting for himself because the Scouts have an opportunity to go aboard the ship he sailed on, and to walk into the same room he was in when he was a Sea Scout.

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