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17th of July 2018

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Kempe secures podium finish in Mexico | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Sailing

Colin Thompson

Published Jul 2, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 2, 2018 at 12:03 am)

Team BDA at the Optimist North American Championships in Mexico

(Photograph by Darcey Betschart)

Team BDA at the Optimist North American Championships in Mexico (Photograph by Darcey Betschart)

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Sebastian Kempe earned a spot on the podium to cap Bermuda’s phenomenal display at the Optimist North American Championships in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, at the weekend.

The promising sailor finished second in an overall fleet of 149 sailors from 14 countries with eight top-ten finishes and a best showing of second, which arrived in the opening qualifying race.

Also competing in the 75-strong gold fleet was Magnus Ringstead who finished an equally impressive eighth with Christian Ebbin further back in 21st, Aiden Lopes 45th, Laura Hupman 59th and Rachael Betschart 72nd.

Ahzai Smith led Bermuda’s charge in the 74-strong silver fleet with a solid fourth place finish with three top-five finishes and a best showing of fifth in the penultimate race of the regatta, hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Also competing in the silver fleet were Smith’s team-mates Millie Lewis who finished twelfth, Ava Adams 20th and Ethan Edmunds 29th.

“The kids had a great time and made us proud,” Darcey Betschart, the Bermuda team leader, said. “This is a great achievement for little Bermuda to place in top ten with only ten sailors at the event.

“The conditions were tricky. There was some current in the area but the changing breeze in wind speed and direction made it more challenging.

“Temperature and humidity were high but our sailors fared extremely well largely because we are used to sailing in those conditions.”

Stephan Baker, of the United States, claimed overall honours while Diego Riofrio, of Peru, topped the silver fleet.

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