Sebastian Kempe grows in confidence ahead of Radial challenges
Sebastian Kempe made the best possible start to the year competing in the Olympic-class ILCA 6 dinghy on the South Coast of England.
The sailor captured both the under-21 and under-17 titles and finished second overall at the South Coast Anniversary Open Regatta contested on the waters of Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay.
“It was the first regatta for me since October and my first opportunity this year to compare my skills against the top sailors in the UK,” Kempe told The Royal Gazette.
The regatta was held May 8 and 9 and hosted by Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset.
It was an ideal warm-up for Kempe’s upcoming commitments at the Radial Youth European Championships and ILCA Radial Youth World Championships.
“This result is a good confidence boost for me going into the summer,” he added. “However, I have a lot to work on before the European Championships and the World Championships.”
The Radial Youth European Championships, to be held in Kastela, Croatia, from June 26 to July 3, will mark Kempe’s international debut in the class.
“This regatta will be my first international event in the ILCA 6 as I’ve only been sailing in the boat for one year,” he said.
Kempe will then compete at the Radial Youth World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy, from July 23 to 31.
“I have been working very hard over the last year and especially the last six months, of which three months of those were in the national lockdown, to achieve good result at the World Championships,” he added. “The regatta shows me that the hard work over the winter has started to pay off; however, a lot still needs to be done.”
The single-handed ILCA 6 dinghy is a challenging boat that rewards athleticism, subtle steering and trimming techniques as well as tactical excellence.
Kempe has had to make the necessary adjustments in order to meet the physical demands required to sail the boat.
“This last year I have had to focus a lot more on fitness in order to handle the increase of power that this new rig has,” he said. “This means a lot of hours in the gym, early morning running and long hours on the bike.”
The son of Somers Kempe, the former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, moved up to the ILCA 6 dinghy from the Laser, which is also a single-handed Olympic-class dinghy.