Sophia Dias leads Bermuda’s charge at Optimist European Championships
Sophia Dias battled through the pain barrier to lead Bermuda’s charge at the Optimist European Championships in Cádiz, Spain yesterday.
The 13-year-old hurt her back in a collision but still managed to produce her most consistent display so far at the regatta to make headway in the 116-strong girls fleet.
Dias coped reasonably well competing in winds exceeding 20 knots in the Bay of Cadiz, posting finishes of 31st and 37th in the final two races in the six-race qualifying series to surge seven places in the standings from 93rd to 86th.
“Sophia had a good day,” Jacob Hockings, the Bermuda team leader, told The Royal Gazette. “She was hit at the start of the first race and hurt her back. But she prevailed and posted good finishes in her group.”
Also competing in the girls fleet is Riley Lowe who sits in 102nd with a best showing to date of 41st.
Flying the island’s banner in the 155-strong boys fleet are Cody Rans and Trystan Hocking who sit in 141st and 149th respectively.
“Cody also did well in his first race but a capsize in his second pushed him down in the fleet,” Hocking added. “Riley and Trystan, being the younger and smaller sailors, fought hard but had difficulty keeping the boats flat and competitive against a fleet of bigger children under the extreme conditions.”
Spaniard Xavier Garcia Olle and Italian Emilia Salvatore topped the boys and girls fleets at the conclusion of the qualifying series.
Today will see the sailors divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets based on their overall results from the qualifying races after dropping their worst score.
“Racing has been moved up tomorrow (today) to stay ahead of winds expected to exceed 30 knots in the afternoon,” Hockings said.
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.