Slow going for Bermuda youngsters in Bay of Cádiz
The Optimist European Championships in Cádiz, Spain, have proved to be a steep learning curve for the island’s contingent of youth sailors.
Cody Rans, Trystan Hocking, Riley Lowe and Sophia Dias have all struggled coming to grips with the tricky conditions in the Bay of Cádiz.
Rans and Hocking were 138th and 143rd respectively in the 155-strong boys fleet after the opening four races in the six-race qualifying series.
Dias was shown in 93rd and Lowe in 99th among the 116 sailors in the girls fleet.
“The children are overcoming their jet lag and getting accustomed to the differing wind conditions, which build from five to 15 knots through the day,” Jacob Hocking, the Bermuda team leader, told The Royal Gazette. “They are not used to sailing in the open ocean, and are figuring out how the unique currents and wind shifts impact their races.”
He added: “The boys improved their finishes today [yesterday] and the girls held their positions against a competitive and aggressive European fleet.
“They are gaining confidence and expect to continue to improve their placements as the races continue through the week.”
Spaniard Xavier Garcia Olle and Italian Emilia Salvatore were the leaders in the boys and girls fleets after yesterday’s third and fourth qualifying races were completed in the wake of a delayed start because of light wind.
The boys fleet will be divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze and the girls into Gold and Silver for the rest of the regatta after today’s final two races in the qualifying series.
A total of 272 sailors from 38 countries are competing at the Optimist European Championships, which are being hosted by the El Puerto de Santa María Royal Yacht Club and run until June 27.
Rans is making his debut at an International Optimist Dinghy Association event, while Lowe, Dias and Hocking are fresh from competing at the Optimist North American Championships in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.