Laser sailor Owen makes his mark at Florida regatta
Bermudian Owen Siese of the Sandys Boat Club had an impressive second place finish out of 121 boats in the Laser Radial Class at the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta in Miami, Florida recently.
Siese was one of 19 local sailors who participated in the event, the largest youth sailing regatta in the United States, which took place over fours days from December 27 to 30 at the Coral Reef Yacht Club and involved competitors from over 25 countries and 20 states.
Owen finished on 122 points from 12 races, 11 points behind overall winner William Marshall.
After 12 races the sailors were able to drop/discard their worst two finishes.
Siese recorded two OCS races (over the start line early) in races two and five which carried 122 points.
Those two became his discards but still he had to carry 80 points due to a poor start in race three when he finished 80th. That race separated Siese from the title as he finished strongly in the last seven races to record a second, sixth, fourth, seventh, first, third and seventh to to go with a first in the opening race and 11th in the third.
By comparison Marshall had finishes of 14-OCS-5-16-15-4-36-2-1-27-21-6.
“I think it was a good regatta regardless of where I finished,” said Siese, who turns 18 in March.
“My goal going into it was to be in the top five and I achieved that so I was happy with the result, but a bit disappointed I wasn’t able to follow through with how good my races were.”
Conditions saw light, shifty winds on Biscayne Bay on the first three days of competition while there were moderate breezes on the last day.
A total of 15 Bermuda youngsters competed in the Championship Fleet Optimist class in 11 races and among 252 boats. The Championship Fleet was broken up into three age-related divisions; Red (13-15), Blue (11-12) and White (10 and under).
Chase Cooper was 10th in the Red Fleet and 11th overall which marked the best Bermuda finish at the event since 2006 when Anthony Bailey Jr from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club finished second overall.
Ceci Wollmann was 22nd in the Red Fleet and 27th overall and James Amaral 49th in the Red and 83rd overall. Mikey Wollmann was sixth in the Blue Fleet and 28th overall while George Buckley was 26th and 74th overall and Matilda Nicholls 27th in the Blue Fleet and 76th overall.
The Opti results followed some outstanding performances last year at world class events which included Chase Cooper’s 10th at the Optimist North Americans; Cecil Wollmann’s first place finish at the CORK Regatta, third in the Canadian Optimist Nationals and 10th female at the US Nationals. Mikey Wollmann was first at the Canadian Optimist Nationals, second in the CORK Regatta and 12th at the US Nationals.
Four other young Bermuda sailors competed in the Green (Learn-to-race) Fleet which saw 85 boats participate over 18 races. Micah Thomas-Raynor was sixth, Jay Hall and Jay Hall 29th and 35th and Liam Perry 36th.
Championship Fleet Optimist results: 11th Chase Cooper (10th in Red fleet )
27th Ceci Wollmann (22nd in Red Fleet)
28th Mikey Wollmann (6th in Blue Fleet)
74th George Buckley (26th in Blue Fleet)
76th Matilda Nicholls (27th in Blue Fleet)
83rd James Amaral (49th in Red fleet)
102nd Joe Arrowsmith (33rd in Blue Fleet)
107th Benn Smith (65th in Red Fleet)
120th Peter Dill (69th in Red Fleet)
148th Tayte Stefaniuk (47th in Blue Fleet)
153rd Samantha Dill(79th in Red Fleet)
171st Tre Maxwell (88th in Red Fleet)
200th Charis Todd (68th in Blue Fleet)
238th Flo Nicholls (46th in white Fleet)
240th Taj Maxwell (87th in Blue Fleet)