Kempe takes positives from shortened regatta
Somers Kempe and husband-and-wife crew Adam and Debbie Barboza secured two podium finishes at the inaugural Aspen Viper 640 International Championship presented by EFG.
The trio topped the local fleet, were third in the amateur division and sixth in the overall 41-boat fleet.
They posted three top-ten finishes in the six races contested in the Great Sound last week in trying conditions, with a best showing of fifth in the fourth race.
“I’m really pleased given the amount of organisation that went into the regatta and how I was busy with that,” said Kempe, the Bermuda Viper Class executive and race chairman. “Just to go out with my friends and actually do well around the racetrack was really pleasing.”
Alec Cutler was second in the local fleet and twelfth overall with Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, led by Olympic skipper Cecilia Wollmann, rounding off the local podium in nineteenth overall.
American Zeke Horowitz won overall honours with Justin Scott, of Britain, taking second and Geoff Fargo, of the United States, third. Fargo was also first in the amateur division.
Horowitz, who competed in the 2002 North American Optimist Championships which Bermuda hosted, managed three firsts and finished no lower than fifth in the races sailed with crew Brendan Healy and Ian Coleman.
Two days of the championship were lost to bad weather, including Saturday’s scheduled finale.
“We still got a lot of racing completed and all of the competitors had a really good time on the island and on the racecourse,” Kempe said. “Everyone will agree the whole event was a big success and lot of people are coming back in the future to sail.”
Kempe, the former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, said there are plans in the works for the island to host more Viper 640 regattas in the very near future.
“We will be hosting a few mini regattas throughout the winter and a couple of competitors are going to come back and take part in that,” he said. “Then there’s always the possibility that a large regatta like this is going to come back in the future, given that everyone likes to come here and sail.”
Saturday’s final day of the Autumn Bacardi Keelboat Regatta involving the J105, IOD and Etchells classes was also cancelled because of the bad weather.
Peter Bromby, the former Bermuda Olympic sailor, topped the J105 fleet after winning two of the four races contested on Friday while overseas skipper Dirk Kneulman edged local Tim Patton for the Etchells title.
Bermuda’s Craig Davis claimed honours in the IODs, finishing no lower than third in the four races contested.