Unfamiliar conditions await youth sailors in Algarrobo
Bermuda's youth sailors will put their skills to the test against some of the world's elite in trying conditions at the Optimist South American Championship in Algarrobo, Chile.
Representing the island at the regatta are Sebastian Kempe, Ben Redburn, Kipling Roussow, Magnus Ringsted, Christian Ebbin, Amelia Lewis, Rachael Betschart, Laura Hupman, Nicole Stovell and Ava Adams.
Kempe, Ebbin and Ringsted are expected to shoulder the island's medal hopes while Rossouw, Redburn and Adams are all making their debuts.
“We are pleased to be sending some more experienced sailors but also bringing up the next generation,” Dede Cooper, the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association vice-president, said. “The team is 50 per cent female, which is fantastic as well.”
The regatta, which starts tomorrow, is being hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico Club in the waters of Algarrobo.
“The South American regatta is always challenging,” Cooper added. “Chile is known for waves and the cold Pacific waters, both conditions unfamiliar to our sailors.”
Kempe was Bermuda's top performer at the Optimist South American Championship in Uruguay last year, finishing eleventh overall.
The Optimist South American Championship consists of three championships: the Optimist Individual South American Championships, the Optimist Team Racing South American Championship and the Optimist Nations Cup. Racing starts on Monday.
Ebbin, Kempe, Ringsted and Betschart have already made fine starts to the new year competing internationally.
Kempe rallied during the final race to finish second at the International Palamos Optimist Trophy in Palamos, Spain, in February. Ebbin, Ringsted and Betschart also underlined their potential after qualifying for the gold fleet at the Semena de Mar del Plata in Argentina, also in February.