Promising youngsters showcase talent
A small contingent of sailors from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Sailing Academy packed a powerful punch competing at this month’s Semana de Mar del Plata in Argentina.
The academy was represented by four of its most promising Optimist sailors, three of whom qualified for the gold fleet, competing in trying conditions against some of South America’s elite at this level.
“I think it was definitely very positive and there were some very good results,” said coach Pablo Weber, who accompanied the youth sailors at the regatta held in his native country. “We had all the top sailors from South America so it was a very competitive regatta with over 200 sailors.
“It was a very good experience considering that the next South America Championships is at that venue in Mar del Plata and I think it’s very good that we went and our sailors keep improving.
“The conditions were challenging because we had conditions we never had in Bermuda. We had a strong current, light wind and big waves which is something that is not usual in Bermuda so it was a great experience to do that as well.”
Qualifying for the gold fleet was the trio of Christian Ebbin, Magnus Ringsted and Rachael Betschart, while Nicole Stovell qualified for the silver fleet.
“I was not surprised by their results, especially because of the programme we have here at the yacht club (RBYC),” Weber added. “All of the new generation is coming on strong and developing good, so I’m not surprised that they are doing good.
“Now we are looking forward to those results in the big events like the South Americans, North Americans and World Championships.”
Ebbin was the island’s top performer in Argentina, finishing fourth in the 78-strong gold fleet with two wins under his belt. Ringsted and Betschart also held their own to finish 24th and 39th respectively in the medal fleet.
Ebbin was thick in the hunt for top honours. But he ultimately came up just short after being tagged with two black flags for going over the start line early, which proved costly.
“Unfortunately, that day he had two black flags that obviously took away the possibility of him winning the regatta and after that he won a race by like two minutes,” Weber said.
“Those were two mistakes he suffered from. But he was up there, which is the most important thing as well.”
This year marks the fourth time that Bermuda has been represented at the Semana de Mar del Plata, which RBYC sailor Chase Cooper won in 2013.
The regatta, that was contested by 11 different countries, was held from February 2 to the 9.
n Sebastian Kempe made a flying start at the 30th International Palamos Optimist Trophy in Palamos, Spain yesterday.
Kempe, who is competing under the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Sandys Boat Club banners, produced a 5-4-2 record in ideal conditions and after the opening three races sits in fourth in the fleet of over 500 sailors.
Also flying the island’s banner at the regatta is Kempe’s cousin, Sarah Davis, who came ashore in 345th spot with a best showing so far of 52nd. The regatta concludes on Sunday.
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