Kempe rallies to claim podium place
Sebastian Kempe rallied during the final race of the 30th International Palamos Optimist Trophy in Palamos, Spain, to earn a spot on the podium yesterday.
The 13-year-old held it together while others around him unravelled in the tricky conditions to jump three places from sixth and secure the bronze medal in only his second appearance at the regatta boasting some of Europe’s best competitotrs at this level.
“The last day of the competition was tricky with many of the other top sailors around me falling away over the final three races,” said Kempe, who produced finishes of 21st, seventeenth and ninth on the day.
“The breeze was lighter than forecast and the waves were choppy.”
The Saltus Grammar School pupil saved his best performance for last. He made a clean start off the line but got pinned by a rival and was forced to steer clear.
Still, Kempe was able to play the shifts well on the first beat to rounded the top mark in fifteenth.
He made up more ground the rest of the way to cross the finish in ninth, which was good enough to secure the final spot on the podium.
“I was sixth going into the final race and my coach told me to go for broke,” Kempe, who competed under the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Sandys Boat Club banners, added.
“I managed a good race to clinch third overall and I’m very pleased.”
Kempe sailed consistently in variable conditions throughout the regatta in which he placed among the top ten in all but two of the nine-race series with a best showing of second.
Atilla Martin won the regatta on a tie break over Team Rene Racing team-mate Shemesh Maayan after the pair finished with 36 points apiece after discarding their worst score.
Meanwhile, accompanying Kempe in Spain was his cousin, Sarah Davis, who finished 366th overall. Competing among a fleet of more than 500 competitors, Davis managed a best finish of 30th in the sixth race.
The 30th International Palamos Optimist Trophy, which was held in conjunction with the 14th Nations Cup, was hosted by the Club Nŕutic Costa Brava/Vela Palamos
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