Local youths off to BC Summer Games

Ashcroft and Cache Creek teenagers compete in Sailing at summer games.

Gabriele Johannsson of Ashcroft and Adam Newman of Cache Creek will be among 2,300 athletes at this year’s BC Summer Games in Surrey.

Johannsson and Newman are also members of the 347 Royal Canadian Se Cadets Corps Avenger and are entered in the sailing competition. Johannsson is sailing with Emily Roberts from Heffley Creek and Newman’s teammate is Riis Ingalis from Kamloops.

Two-member teams compete in one-person racing dinghys with sails. Every competitor must be a member of a yacht or sailing club recognized by the C.Y.A. and BC Sailing Association.

The BC Summer Games run from July 19 to July 22 in Surrey, with the sailing event taking place at Blackie Spit in White Rock.

Game requirements limit how many teams are admitted from each zone, making it impossible for the sailing event to be loaded with athletes from only one part of the province.

Sailing has been an Olympic sport since 1912.  Currently there are 11 Olympic classes with both single-handed and double-handed boats. The divisions included in the BC Summer Games are Optimist Dinghy (which is a small pram used worldwide for young sailors to learn racing), Laser Radial and Laser Classes, and the two person 420 Dinghy. Athletes will compete in two age categories, Optimist (under 15) and Youth (under 19).

As of Thursday, July 5, there were 86 River City athletes and coaches listed as Zone 2 (Thompson Okanagan) members on the B.C. Games website.

For the full list, go to www.bcgames.net.

“With an average athlete age of just over 13 years, the B.C. Games are an important step for athletes toward provincial and national-team programs,” a Games press release said.

Joining 2,300 athletes will be 474 coaches and 297 technical officials.

Thirteen venues across Surrey will host the Games, which will feature 20 sports, from baseball, golf and lacrosse to equestrian, inline hockey and triathalon.

A total of 3,500 local volunteers will be required to stage the Games, which are expected to have an economic impact of approximately $2.5 million in direct spending by games participants, spectators, volunteers and organizers.