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Local youth sailors set to compete at South American Optimist Championships

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The racing fleet in action at the Bermuda National Optimist Championships in the Great Sound at the weekend. (Photo supplied).
Ethan Thompson was crowned national Optimist boys champion at the weekend. (Photograph supplied).

Eight of the island’s most promising youth sailors will be keen to put their best foot forward competing at the 2021 South American Optimist Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Ethan Thompson, Sarah Davis, Sophia Dias, Dylan Menzies, Trystan Hocking, Shiloh Cruickshank, Oliver Soares and Riley Lowe will represent Bermuda at the regatta to be held from December 11 to 18.

"The Bermuda team is still relatively new to the larger International Optimist Dinghy Association championships, so this coupled with the lack of training time due to Covid may have an effect on results,“ a team spokesperson told The Royal Gazette.

“That said, Ethan Thompson, our recent national champion, sailed very well this past weekend and will most likely be Bermuda’s best finisher.

“The most experienced sailor is Sophia Dias who prefers the bigger breeze and may excel in those conditions as well as Sarah Davis.

“Hopefully we see a number of our team in the top 50 per cent. Regardless of finishing place, they will all benefit from this competitive continental regatta and continue to improve in 2022."

Bermuda’s contingent departed for Argentina on Tuesday, where they will be accompanied by coach Pablo Weber and team leader Jacob Hocking.

Several members of the local contingent have already represented Bermuda on the international stage this year.

Dias, Davis, Lowe and Hocking all competed at the Optimist North American Championship in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in June.

Lowe, Dias and Hocking also represented the island at the Optimist European Championships in Cádiz, Spain in June, while Thompson competed at the Optimist World Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy in July.

Thompson and Davis are heading into the Optimist South American Championships with momentum having claimed the boys and girls titles in the Bermuda National Optimist Championships held in the Great Sound at the weekend.

Thompson finished fifteen points clear of runner- up Davis. Dias finished a farther three points back in third to round off the podium.

A total of 54 sailors representing the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, Sandys Boat Club and Endeavour competed in the championships contested in light air conditions.

The regatta was hosted by the RBYC.

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Published December 09, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated December 09, 2021 at 7:54 am)

Local youth sailors set to compete at South American Optimist Championships

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