Impressive Kempe making waves
Sebastian Kempe has given his racing debut in the Laser Radial at the UKLA National Championship in Weymouth, England the proverbial thumbs up.
The sailor held his own competing in a range of conditions in Portland Harbour against Olympic calibre sailors on the way to an impressive showing of 22nd among an overall fleet of 97.
“I think that I am right where I need to be in order to be at top form for next year,” Kempe said.
“But I need to go away now and work hard preparing for the RYA Youth National Championship in October.”
Kempe produced three top-ten finishes, with a best showing of seventh, during the six-race qualifying series en route to securing his spot in the gold fleet.
He was the overall leader in the under-16 age group and seventeenth overall going into the final two races on Saturday but lost precious ground on the leaderboard as the windy conditions took their toll.
“The last day of the regatta was windy and gusting 27 knots, making it a difficult day for me,” added Kempe, who attends the Royal Hospital School in England.
“I recorded a 28th and a 30th, leaving me in 22nd place overall.
“It was a wild last race for me as I was in eleventh at the first mark before capsizing on the next leg dropping me down the leaderboard.”
The son of Somers Kempe, the former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, has moved up to the single-handed Olympic-class dinghy from the Optimist class and has seemingly made a seamless transition.
“This is the first major regatta in the Radial class for me and the regatta serves as a good benchmark for further training in the future,” Kempe said.
“The regatta is mainly a learning experience having only just started to sail the boat after lockdown was lifted earlier this year in the UK.”
Meanwhile, Britain's Ali Young claimed the Laser Radial title after finishing four-points clear of nearest rival and compatriot Hannah Snellgrove.
Bel Elvin finished third, another 12 points back, to complete a sweep of the podium by British sailors.