Sebastian Kempe takes third at Laser Radial Youth Worlds
Sebastian Kempe made local sailing history at the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy, on Saturday.
The 16-year-old became the first Bermudian to finish on the podium at the regatta after placing third overall and second in the under-17 age group.
He posted three top-three finishes with a highest of second during the 11-race series on the way to the bronze medal while competing among a 268-strong fleet in trying conditions.
“I am really pleased with the result that I have got here in Italy,” Kempe told The Royal Gazette. “This is my best showing in the class, having only sailed the boat for one year.”
Kempe managed to hold his own in the shifty breezes that took its toll on the racing fleet and to capitalise on costly errors made by some of the top contenders.
“The wind has been very unstable, very unpredictable and very tricky,” Kempe added.
“Top sailors made a lot of mistakes, so it was good for me that I could make my way to the top of a fleet in such challenging conditions.
“I am really happy with my result and hopefully in the future I can have room to improve.”
Italian Mattia Cesana won the regatta to capitalise on home advantage with Chapman Petersen, of the United States, finishing nine points adrift in second.
Cesana also claimed the under-17 title, followed by Kempe in second and Lorenzo Predar, also of Italy, in third.
Kempe spent the past several weeks in Italy training for the regatta, which has ultimately paid off.
It was his second major international event this summer, having also produced a fine display at the Radial Youth European Championships in Kastela, Croatia.
Kempe placed eighth among the 88 sailors in the under-17 age group and 25th in an overall fleet of 224 sailors from 25 different countries at the regatta held from June 26 to July 3.
That arrived on the heels of winning the under-21 and under-17 titles, and finishing second overall at the South Coast Anniversary Open Regatta in Dorset, England, in May.