Sebastian Kempe encouraged by what future holds
Sebastian Kempe’s future in the Laser appears to be bright having enjoyed early success in the one-design Olympic class.
The 15-year-old sailor produced his best showing to date competing in the Laser Radial at last month’s UK Laser Association Autumn Qualifier 3 in Weymouth, England, where he won the under-17 division, was third among all male competitors and sixth overall.
“I am really happy with my results,” Kempe said. “It was a good chance for me to see where I’m at compared to the rest of the sailors here in the UK.”
The promising sailor achieved four top-ten displays during the six-race series with a best finish of second in the fourth race competing at the venue of the 2012 Olympic sailing regatta.
He might have fared even better had he not been black-flagged in the final race for being over the line early.
“My performance was my first sign of really good speed for me and it gives me a massive motivation boost,” Kempe added.
The single-handed Laser is one of the most popular dinghy classes in history. There are more than 215,000 boats worldwide and sailors in 120 countries. It has also been an Olympic Class since 1996.
“I have sailed in the class for almost four months and improving every day,” Kempe said.
“I chose to sail in the Laser class because the competition is unmatched in any other class and I can sail by myself, which means that my improvement is only based on my efforts and my mistakes are also only mine.”
Kempe’s ultimate goal is to join the 44 other Bermudians that have represented the island at the Olympic Games.
“I want to represent Bermuda as early as 2024 and I don’t plan for that to be my only appearance at the Games,” he said.
Cameron Pimentel was the last Bermudian to compete in the Laser at the Olympics, at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he placed 41st among the 46 competitors with a best showing of 27th during the qualifying round.