Sebastian Kempe thick in the hunt at Youth Sailing World Championships
Sebastian Kempe is thick in the hunt for a podium finish at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Al Mussanah, Oman.
The Bermudian sailor is second among the 50-strong men’s Laser Radial class, two points behind leader José Gomes Saraiva Mendesre of Portugal, with three races remaining.
Kempe has managed three top three finishes in the six races contested in the one-design single-handed Olympic class dinghy to date, including two firsts in the third and sixth races.
He is level on points with third place Przemyslaw Machowski but ahead of his Polish rival in the standings on a tie-break.
“I am happy with my ability to scramble back to the front of the fleet when I make small errors,” Kempe told The Royal Gazette.
“Eliminating the small errors on the racecourse is key, and I will be focusing on my routine going forward to help me close the regatta on a high note.”
The 16-year-old has already enjoyed success competing internationally this year having made local sailing history at the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy, in August.
He became the first Bermudian to finish on the podium at the regatta after placing third overall and second in the under-17 age group.
Kempe is one of two Bermudians competing in Oman this week as compatriot Nicole Stovell is among the 46-strong women’s Laser Radial fleet.
Stovell is in 31st position after six races with a best finish of fourth in the opening race.
“Both sailors are experiencing similar conditions on the racecourse day-to-day,” Somers Kempe, the Bermuda team leader, said. “This has worked to their favour as they have been able to dial into their routines when faced with difficult, tight fleet racing in each group.
“Going forward they are both focused on working hard into the final two days to be consistent and keep big scores off of the scorecard.”
Marie Jacobsen Lepperöd, of Norway, holds a three-point advantage over Florencia Chiarella, of Peru, at the top of Women’s Laser Radial standings. Zulal Alev Erkan, of Turkey, is a farther point back in third.
The championships, which features various classes, including the 29er Skiff and foiling Nacra 15 catamaran, concludes on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ethan Thompson continues to lead Bermuda’s charge at the Optimist South American Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The 14-year-old Mount St Agnes student was the island’s top finisher in the five-race qualifying series, which concluded on Tuesday.
Thompson placed eleventh with a best showing of third in the second and fifth races competing among an overall fleet of 155 sailors.
Sophia Dias was the island’s next highest qualifier in 61st followed by Shiloh Cruickshank (77th), Sarah Davis (79th), Riley Lowe (88th), Trystan Hocking (104th), Dylan Menzies (126th) and Oliver Soares (129th).
“Lighter winds and calmer seas favoured the smaller sailors and team Bermuda started the day enthusiastically,” Jacob Hocking, the Bermuda team leader, said. “The ocean swells remain significant and feature critically in our sailors’s strategy.
“The team re-rigged their boats accordingly and sailed out to the course navigating around the sea lions and submarines that scatter the harbour.”
Thompson will carry the island’s hopes for a podium finish alone when the individual fleet racing event resumes today having been the only local sailor qualifying for the gold fleet.
Dias, Cruickshank, Davis, Lowe and Hocking will all compete in the silver fleet and Menzies and Soares in the bronze.
Franco Sanchez, of Argentina, topped the qualifying standings, while Arantza Zimmermann of Peru, was the top qualifier among the girls and 17th overall.
The Optimist South American Championships conclude on Saturday.