PJ Rodrigues rewarded for good work ethic
PJ Rodrigues is thriving in his debut season competing in varsity sailing in the United States.
The Bermudian has settled in well with his new team-mates since enrolling in Christchurch Boarding School in Norfolk, Virginia last month.
The Seahorses compete in the Interscholastic Sailing Association B Division where they have been a dominant force this autumn.
“My school has pretty much been No 1 most of the races so far,” Rodrigues told The Royal Gazette.
“I am very happy that I have teamed up with a great sailor in my boat [JJ Klempen] that also shares the same passion and we have managed to stay in front doing what we love to do.”
The pair continued their good form after finishing second among the nine teams that competed at the Visa NA Team Race Regatta in choppy conditions on Lafayette Lake last Saturday.
It was their second successive podium display having also finished runners-up at the Visa Kecoughtan/Phoebus Fleet Regatta the previous weekend.
Crew Rodrigues, 15, says competing at this level requires a lot more commitment.
“We train every day and have regattas every weekend, either at our home school or other venues,” he added. “So you have to be focused and willing to put in the hours with training so that on the weekend you are ready.
“Varsity sailing is very competitive and also so much more sailing than in Bermuda.
“But I enjoy every minute of it. As fast as you are put on the team you can also lose it if you do not keep your game up.”
Rodrigues is new to the double-handed CFJ dinghy having progressed from the Optimist dinghy after representing Bermuda at this summer’s Optimist World Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy.
“The transition from Optis has been pretty easy,” he said. “I have been able to fall right in to the flow with a good coach and have had a variety of experienced sailors showing me the do’s and don’ts.”
Rodrigues is accompanied by compatriot Jordan Vieira at Christchurch Boarding School.
Vieira also represented the island at the Optimist World Championships.