The Bahamas Laser Nationals, sailed on December 8th and 9th was open to all Laser rigs (Full, Radial and 4.7’s). Due to the huge increased interest in junior sailing, the majority of the competitors were racing in Radials, the rig used around the world for advanced junior sailing events. Six competitors from Freeport and one from Little Exuma came to contest the race along with their five Nassuvian compatriots.
The Gods looked kindly on our regatta and provided perfect racing conditions (especially for our light weight sailors) with light to moderate winds containing 10 to 15 degree shifts.
|Donico Brown, Laser National Champion for 2012|
Donico Brown, sailing in the Full rig and a BSA Sailing Instructor, won overall with 7 points; however, one of the country’s top juniors, Paul de Souza, was right on his heels with 8 points. This position for Paul who is only 13 and has been sailing seriously over the last two years in the Optimist dinghy (the “starter” boat for juniors) confirmed how good he really is in the Laser and demonstrated that his win at the Junior Laser Nationals earlier in the year was obviously no fluke.
As Coach Dunkley put it: “We now have a number of young sailors with natural sailing talent, who are extremely dedicated to the sport and are training hard and the benefits of this are beginning to show. Even though he is a bit light for the Laser, Paul is proving that technique and sound tactical knowledge attained through sailing the Optimist well, can be transferred into sailing almost any other boat”. Third place Pedro Rahming and fourth place Spencer Cartwright are another two top junior sailors who have come through the BSA Optimist Junior sailing program in Nassau.
The Bahamas representative at the ISAF Youth Worlds this past summer, Eric Nabb of Freeport , took fifth, his team mate Nick Rolle was in sixth , and the top female sailor Audrey O’Brien, also hailed from Freeport.,
A big thank you to the Nassau Yacht Club for hosting this event and again to the BSA junior program sponsors Bahamas Hot Mix, East Nassau Rotary, KPMG, Palm Cay, Royal Bank, Coca Cola, Odyssey Aviation, Cable Bahamas & Cable Cares, Kerzner Corp. and Ministry of Sports for their continued support and encouragement – we definitely couldn’t do it without you!