Bermuda’s Optimist sailors will rub shoulders with the world’s elite during next month’s RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup.
By Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
There will be plenty at stake for Bermuda’s Optimist sailors during next week’s RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup.
For local sailors the regatta will present the opportunity to compete for places on Bermuda’s five-member team for the upcoming Optimist World Championships in New Zealand.
Flying the Island’s banner in this year’s RenRe Junior Gold Cup are James Amaral, Ferdinand Arnold, Joe Arrowsmith, Antonio Bailey, Michael Barit, George Buckley, Rory Caslin, Camille Chin, Chase Cooper, Peter and Samantha Dill, Yannick Hillier, Makai Joell, Matilda Nicholls, Campbell Patton, Adriana and Thomas Penruddocke, Alice Reeves, Benn Smith, Kieran Swann, Ceci and Mikey Wollmann.
Current Bermuda National champion Sam Stan has aged out and is no longer eligible to compete in the international regatta.
A number of Bermuda’s Optimist sailors have impressed in overseas events this year and will enter the junior regatta high on confidence.
Joell placed 75th at the IODA Worlds and 30th at the IODA South Americans in Chile. Bailey has been no less impressive having finished 63rd at the IODA South Americans before teaming up with his uncle Rudy Bailey to grab a top five finish at the Comet International Regatta in Maryland.
Rory Caslin managed a top 20 finish at the International Regatta in the Dominican, UK Nationals and Irish Nationals while Ceci Wollmann placed sixth at the Canadian National championships.
Matilda Nicholls, one of the youngest sailors in the Jr Gold Cup, won the regatta racing fleet at the UK Nationals while Patton won his respective fleet at the Canadian Nationals.
Sixteen countries including hosts Bermuda will be represented at next week’s RenRe Junior Gold Cup which will involve sailors ranging in ages from 12 to 15.
Making their debut in the event are sailing fanatics Singapore who have assembled a formidable team.
Among the favourites to win this year’s RenRe Junior Gold Cup are German National, Swiss and Polish Open champ Marvin Frisch.
New Zealand National and past US and UK National champion Leonard Takahashi-Fry is also expected to be in the hunt for top honours as well as reigning US National champion Wade Waddell.
The RenRe Junior Gold Cup will be held October 6-9, with races to be staged in the Great Sound and Hamilton Harbor that will play host to the final.