Young sailors ready to strut their stuff in Italy
Bermuda’s youth sailors are keen to start racing at the Optimist World Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy.
Representing the island are Ethan Thompson, Kipling Rossouw, PJ Rodrigues, Jack Adderley and Jordan Vieira who will test their skills against the world’s best sailors at this level.
Thompson is making his debut at an International Optimist Dinghy Association regatta while Rossouw, Rodrigues, Adderley and Vieira were also among the island’s contingent that competed at last month’s Optimist North American Championships in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.
“The boys are super excited and itching to start racing,” Kymette Rossouw, team representative, said.
“Lake Garda is a freshwater lake, a mountain lake, so it can be literally four knots in the morning and go up to exactly 15 knots around lunchtime and then drops back down to literally nothing in the afternoon. I think it’s obviously got to do with the wind between the mountains that lifts the wind.”
As for the team’s expectations, Rossouw added: “These children mostly prefer the heavy wind. We have a couple of a smaller light wind sailors but the older boys prefer the heavy winds so our expectations is that the boys will do well.
“It’s a different sort of sailing than to Bermuda because obviously being a fresh water lake they don’t have the salt for the buoyancy and also don’t have the current or anything to deal with so it’s slightly different again.”
The Optimist World Championships, which officially began yesterday with the opening ceremony, is an invitation event comprising an individual and team championship.
Racing begins today with the qualifying series in the individual championship to determine the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Emerald groups for the final series at the business end of the regatta.
The team championship will be held on Monday and Tuesday.
Nearly 300 sailors from 56 nations are competing at the Optimist World Championships being organised by Fraglia Vela Riva, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Garda Trentino and the Italian Optimist Class Association.