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Bermuda sailors qualify for Gold Fleet at 29er European Championships

Christian Ebbin, left, and Paul Rodrigues have qualified for the gold fleet at the 29er European Championships in Sweden (File photograph)

Bermuda’s Paul Rodrigues and Christian Ebbin were left elated after qualifying for the gold fleet at the 29er European Championships in Sweden.

The pair placed 35th among the 173-strong fleet in the nine-race qualifying series with three top-five finishes and a best showing of third in the penultimate race.

“We came to Sweden for European nationals for some high-performance training up against the best teams on this side of the world,” crew Ebbin told The Royal Gazette. “We are over the moon to have qualified this week in the gold fleet in this event up against the stiff competition.”

Rodrigues and Ebbin have also had their work cut out competing in trying conditions.

“The last three days of sailing have been very challenging as the wind has been very shifty making us adapt very quickly,” Ebbin added.

The local pair are now among the 44 teams that will compete for the podium places up for grabs in the gold fleet series.

“We are looking forward to the next three days of the finals,” Ebbin added.

“The forecast is predicting up to 20 knots that will be some great training for us in preparation for Youth Worlds in Brazil, which is known for strong winds.

The pair secured their spot at the Youth World Championships in Brazil in December after placing 31st among an overall fleet of 91 teams competing at Typhoon UK 29er Class National and Open Championships in Weymouth, England, last month.

The duo were particularly thrilled to have qualified for the gold fleet having overcome a major setback after damaging their mast in the second race, which ruled them out of the day’s remaining two races.

Rodrigues and Ebbin finished 37th in the eight-race qualifying series in which they achieved a best showing of fourth on the way to securing their spot in the gold fleet.

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Published August 17, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated August 17, 2023 at 7:57 am)

Bermuda sailors qualify for Gold Fleet at 29er European Championships

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