Ebbin shines in test of character
Christian Ebbin lived up to his lofty expectations under trying circumstances at the Semana de Mar del Plata Regatta in Argentina last week.
The national Optimist boys’ champion demonstrated tremendous character to overcome an early setback to secure a fifth-place finish in overall fleet of over 230 participants.
“It went pretty well considering on the first day I broke something on my boat, so I wasn’t able to compete in one of the races,” Ebbin said.
“Five minutes into the race on the upwind my boat just broke while I was hiking and my sprit [sprit halyard] fell off the boat.”
The mishap left the Somersfield Academy student in 106th and with a mountain to climb to get back into contention.
However, Ebbin responded superbly to the task as he sailed consistently over the remainder of the regatta to secure his second straight top five showing at the regatta, having finished fourth last year.
“I was driven to bounce back,” he added. “The conditions [heavy winds] worked pretty well for me and I just tried to stay conservative.”
The 14-year-old was among a group of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Academy sailors that competed at the regatta, which included Magnus Ringsted, Nicole Stovell and Rachael Betschart.
Ringsted and Stovell also qualified for the gold fleet along with Ebbin, where they finished sixteenth and 59th to improve upon their previous showing of 24th and eighteenth (silver fleet) at the event. Betschart topped the 63-strong silver fleet and was 66th overall.
Griggs Diemar, of the United States, won the regatta with compatriots Samara Walshe, the top female sailor, and Freddie Parkin taking second and third, respectively. The Semana de Mar del Plata Regatta is organised by the Club Nautico Mar del Plata in conjunction with the Yacht Club Argentino and is considered as one of the toughest Optimist regattas in South America.
Bermuda’s Chase Cooper won the regatta in 2013.
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