When Fishing Tales meet Kite Tails on our Private Island Getaway
The Story Of A Meridian Club Staff Member
JR “Junior” Delancey wins Annual Kite Flying Competition
If you tell JR Delancey to “go fly a kite,” not only will he gladly accept, but he’ll go on to build some of the finest kites in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and then on to repeatedly win the Annual Kite Flying Competition.
Some will tell you he was born to fly kites, others will argue that the man was born with a fishing rod in his hand … and if you continue asking, you will find that JR “Junior” Delancey is also an accomplished calypso musician and keyboardist with his latest CD titled “Where are all the young men gone?” soon to be released.
So who is this man who possesses so many talents?
JR Delancey is in charge of fishing excursions and charters at The Meridian Club on Pine Cay. Working his way up from cleaning and maintenance duty when hired in 1983, to ultimately becoming responsible for running the resort’s fishing charters, he is in charge of organizing up to 2 daily fishing trips for guests staying at the secluded island resort in the Turks and Caicos. Trips to the nearby tidal flats in pursuit of the elusive bonefish, or further out into the deep blue in search of bigger game fish such Blue Marlin, Sailfish or Mahi-Mahi, are JR’s domain. He loves the thrill of the hunt, the adrenaline rush of the catch, and the sweet success of not only meeting, but surpassing, his guests’ expectations. Ask JR where he is at his happiest, and he’ll answer without a moment’s hesitation, “when I’m fishing”.
So, it’s somewhat unexpected that the man who rules the sea so assuredly should also dominate the sky. JR Delancey has been taking home the top prizes in the Annual Kite Flying Competition in the Turks and Caicos in every year he has entered. The event is held over the Easter weekend at Horse Stable Beach in North Caicos, Governors Beach in Grand Turk and at the Regatta Village in South Caicos. JR competes in the North Caicos event on Horse Stable Beach. This breezy beach is located 1.6 miles East of Whitby on the North coast of the island.
As a child, JR became interested in flying kites as it was something that all the children did. Back then, they held their kites together with a paste made of flour and water, and JR loved the process of painstakingly creating a kite, modifying it to be stable (and more importantly, hold together) and then setting it free to join the birds flying overhead. And the thrill hasn’t diminished over the years.
JR won his first competition in 2010. He took home 2 trophies: one for the biggest kite, spanning 4 feet, and the other for the smallest one at merely 6 inches tall. And he has since gone on to compete in the 2011 and 2013 events, each time outdoing his previous entries. In 2011, he entered 2 kites and took home a staggering 7 trophies. And just a few weeks ago in the 2013 competition, JR won 2 trophies. This time, the trophy for the largest kite was awarded for his mammoth 6.6ft creation, and the trophy for the smallest kite was won for his adorable, yet flight-worthy kite measuring only 10 inches.
As if to prove that his kites don’t just win in North Caicos events, JR asked his daughter to enter the 2012 competition in Providenciales and fly his creation (he was on a fishing excursion on Pine Cay!). While she may have lacked some of her father’s techniques and experience, the 5- foot kite took home the “Best Looking Kite” trophy, securing JR’s reputation as master kite maker.
Not one to rest on his laurels, JR is already planning his entry for the 2014 competition. Notwithstanding the risk of extreme rope burn and flyaway kites – the physical demands are truly painful – he would like to enter a whopping 7-foot kite to once again win in the” Biggest Kite” class. So what’s the secret to winning each year? JR won’t tell. He did divulge that there is much more to building and stabilizing a kite than most people assume. It’s his passion for precision that ensures he is always flying a winner!
JR Delancey is a modern renaissance man, balancing his passion for fishing, kite building and music recording. Guests of The Meridian Club on Pine Cay in the beautiful Turks and Caicos islands are in for a rare treat when they sign up for a fishing excursion with this man of so many talents.