2013 Bahamas Junior Laser Nationals Press Release:
Over the weekend of September 14-15 Grand Bahama Sailing Club hosted the 2013 Bahamas Laser Junior Nationals. Competitors from Freeport, Nassau, and Abaco traveled to Grand Bahama for their chance at winning the National 4.7 and Radial Championship titles.
Thirteen competitors took part in this competitive sailing event. The typical regatta format in the Bahamas follows a strict schedule with racing on Saturday and Sundays. For this particular event, the skippers were expected to complete 4 races on Saturday and an additional 3 races on Sunday, 7 races would complete the series. As the competitors from the surrounding islands arrived in Freeport, the equipment and boats were all checked and rigged according to the sailor’s specific criteria. This prepares the sailor and the boat for the long weekend of racing.
On Saturday morning, sailors were met with a very calm sea. The water was flat with no wind in sight. The forecast throughout the day was also dismal, causing a postponement and delay in racing. In the early afternoon, the race committee noticed a slight breeze and the decision to tow the 13 Lasers towards the southern shore was announced. After a quick tow through the Grand Lucayan Waterway all the competitors were able to scope out the racecourse, trying to get an edge on the rest of the fleet.
Photo: Laser 4.7 and Laser Radials sailing downwind on a “run”.
On Saturday conditions ranged from 4-8 knots of breeze from the southeast. Despite a delay in the morning, all 4 scheduled races were completed. Paul De Souza and Branden Sands resulted in a commanding lead in both the Radial & 4.7 divisions with straight bullets.
Photo: Branden Sands finishing with another 1st Place (bullet)
On Sunday there was a short postponement due to thunderstorms, but racing was quickly underway. Winds were from the southeast around 10-13 knots, which died throughout the day. Three races were completed for a total of 7 races in the series. In the 4.7 division Branden Sands was challenged by Tom Paine, who ousted Branden in race 5. Branden was quickly able to adjust to the heavier winds and took 1st in race 6 & 7. In the Radial division Paul De Souza placed 1st in all but one race.
Congratulations to Branden Sands from Cherokee Sound, Abaco – the 2013 Bahamas Junior 4.7 Laser Champion.
Congratulations to Paul De Souza from Nassau, New Providence – the 2013 Bahamas Junior Radial Laser Champion.
Both Branden and Paul sailed with excellent technique in the light and windy conditions. The next regatta on the Bahamas Sailing schedule is over the weekend of September 21-22. Royal Nassau Sailing Club will be hosting their annual Mix-Up regatta in the Optimist, Laser, Snipe, and Sunfish classes.
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