PJ Rodrigues takes second in lone Bronze fleet race in Italy
PJ Rodrigues produced Bermuda’s best showing to date during the penultimate day of the Optimist World Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy, yesterday.
The Mount St Agnes student placed second in the only race contested in the Bronze fleet, as unstable breeze associated with an approaching storm brought proceedings to an early halt.
Rodrigues continues to lead the island’s charge in Italy where he is presently seventh among the 64 competitors in the Bronze fleet and 137th overall.
The 14-year-old has been in impressive form competing internationally in recent weeks having placed 32nd in an overall fleet of 110 sailors at last month’s Optimist North American Championship in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.
He is one of four local sailors competing in the Bronze fleet in Italy, which also includes Ethan Thompson, Kipling Rossouw and Jordan Vierira.
Thompson is 154th overall, Rossouw 162nd and Vierira 171st.
Jack Adderley, Bermuda’s sole sailor competing in the Emerald fleet, was shown in 203rd.
“Today saw only one race due to a storm and very light winds,” Kymette Rossouw, the team representative, said. “The race committee plan to complete three races tomorrow, where the boys are hoping for slightly stronger winds and placings.”
The local contingent were consistent with their placing throughout the qualifying series before the fleet was divided into Gold, Silver, Bronze and Emerald fleets.
Thompson is making his debut at an International Optimist Dinghy Association regatta while Rossouw, Adderley and Vieira accompanied Rodrigues at the Optimist North American Championships last month.
Gil Hackel, of the United States, and Italian Lisa Vucetti top the boys’ and girls’ fleets heading into today’s final day of the championships being contested in the single-handed developmental Optimist dinghy.
Earlier this week, Bermuda’s sailors competed in the double-elimination team racing event.
They lost to Portugal in the opening race but immediately bounced back with a comfortable win over Hong Kong to stay alive in the competition.
Bermuda’s youngsters then put up a good fight in a tight battle against Puerto Rico but ultimately came up short.
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.