PJ Rodrigues tops local fleet at Optimist North American Championship
PJ Rodrigues signed off at the Optimist North American Championship in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on a solid note yesterday.
The Mount St Agnes student made up considerable ground in the Gold Fleet standings on the final day of racing to finish as Bermuda’s highest-placed sailor at the regatta.
Rodrigues started the day ten-places behind team-mate Trystan Hocking who was one of seven Bermudian sailors making their debut at the International Optimist Dinghy Association-sanctioned event.
The 14-year-old posted finishes of 29th and 15th in the two races contested and leapfrogged Hocking after discarding his worst score (29th) to finish 32nd among the 55 entries in the Gold Fleet and overall fleet of 110 sailors from 12 countries.
Hocking, 13, has been a model of consistency all week but found the going tough in the heavier breeze on the final day en route to finishes of 40th and 43rd to slip from 26th to 37th.
Meanwhile, Riley Lowe also ended the regatta on a positive note as the island’s highest- placed female sailor in 60th overall.
Lowe competed in the Silver Fleet where she finished an impressive second among the female sailors and fifth among the 54 entries in her division.
She posted identical finishes of 16th to leapfrog team-mate Jordan Vierira who was top local in the Silver Fleet heading into the final day. Vierira finished 66th and Sophia Dias 72nd to round off the island’s top three sailors in the Silver Fleet.
Sarah Davis finished a close 73rd while very little also separated Isaac Wickramage, Kipling Rossouw and Jack Adderley, who finished 79th, 80th and 81st respectively.
Shiloh Cruickshank rounded off the local fleet in 101st.
“The team fared reasonably well,” Andrew Dias, the Bermuda team leader, said. “Due to Covid we didn’t have a lot of international experience. This was the first regatta in almost two years, but I think by the end of it we came back strong.
“I think the children are in good spirits and we look forward to getting home.”
Fynn Olsen, of the United States, won the championship while Argentina’s Delfina Kuttel, of Argentina, was the top female and 14th overall.
Kaemen Floyd, of Bahamas, claimed honours in the Silver Fleet and was 56th overall, while Argentina’s Francisca Barreyra was the top female in the Silver Fleet, finishing 59th overall.