© Submitted photo
Summerside cadet Brandon Waite, left, and his Newfoundland partner, MacKenzie Ledrew-Noseworthy prepare their boat for competition at the National Sea Cadet Sailing Regatta in Kingston, Ont.
KINGSTON, ONT. – Ask Brandon Waite how he feels about sailing, and there’s one word he’s sure to repeat.
The 17-year-old Summerside cadet is in Kingston, Ont., this week at the National Sea Cadet Sailing Regatta representing P.E.I. in the annual event.
Waite is as close to amphibious as it gets for a teenage boy, dedicating his time to sailing whenever he gets the chance.
One part of sailing in particular interests Waite.
“Racing is the reason I sail,” he said. “I love every aspect of it. I love trying to figure out how I’m going to beat the boat in front of me, how to get up there, the tactics behind it. Every aspect of it is why I love it.
Beating the boat in front of him is something the young cadet has gotten pretty good at.
Waite’s path to the national regatta has left a lot of competitors in his wake.
Starting out last fall in Shearwater, N.S., Waite finished in the top half of 50 competitors at the Maritime regional event.
He then moved on to Atlantics, which included the top talent Newfoundland and Labrador had to offer. Afterwards, the top six were selected to move on to Kingston.
This year’s Atlantic sailors are no shrimps in the water, Waite said.
Since arriving last Saturday, they had two days of practices before competition began on Tuesday with four races each day.
“All in all, we’re doing absolutely awesome,” he said. “The team is phenomenal this year, I’ve never seen a better group of people from the Atlantic region.”
Waite wasn’t sure of his scores, but said he had strong showings both days with his partner, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Mackenzie Ledrew-Noseworthy.
The pair met up at HMCS Acadia, a six-week sailing school in Cornwallis, N.S.
“We won a regatta there together, and we figured since we did so well there, we could make it to nationals,” he said. “And we did."
Waite got into sailing from his older brothers, of which he has several. When asked how many, Waite paused for a few seconds, tallying them up.
“Seven,” he said. “Not all of them are older than me though.”
Coming from such a large family, his siblings have laid the groundwork for many of the paths he follows.
“They got me into cadets just through hearing their stories,” he said.
“I follow with them through most things I’ve done.”