Monday, 25 November 2013

Paul de Souza Wins
Bahamas Laser National Championship 2013
Bahamas National Sailing School Laser Open Regatta

Some of The Bahamas’ best dinghy sailors competed in the Bahamas Laser National Championship on November 16 and 17 and in the Bahamas National Sailing School’s Laser Open Regatta on November 23 and 24. Sailors came from Grand Bahama and Abaco to race in these two regattas, which are being used as qualifying events for the ISAF Youth World Championship being sailed in Portugal in July of next year.
Wind conditions for both events were near perfect; for the Nationals a steady 15 to 20 mph and for the Laser Open 10 to 15 mph, which made for extremely fair racing for the ten boat fleet.
Paul de Souza from Nassau who represented The Bahamas at this year’s ISAF Youth World Championship won both events. On the first day of the Nationals with the breeze up to around 20 mph Nicholas Rolle from Freeport won the first two races. Paul who found himself behind in the earlier part of these races fought his way up to second place by the finish in both. Paul won the third race and Alex Thompson from Freeport won the fourth race in which Paul was second and Nicholas third. This left Paul and Nicholas tied for first at the end of the first day with Alex close behind in third.   On the second day Paul won all three races to take the Laser National Championship title. Nicholas was second and Alex was third overall.
In the Laser Open event, which experienced lighter winds Paul dominated the series, finishing first in all seven races. Alex this time nipped out Nicholas by one point to take second place. Nichoas was third and the country’s Optimist Dinghy Champion Spencer Cartwright was fourth.
Four events are being used for the ISAF Youth World 2014 Qualifier – Laser Junior National Championship, Laser National Championship, BNSS Laser Open Regatta and Grand Bahama Sailing Club Laser Open Regatta to be held in January 2014. The first three have now been completed and all three have been won by Paul, so it looks like he is now well on his way to being the Bahamian representative again for this prestigious  event.

Results - Nov 16 and 17 Laser Nationals 2013
Results - Nov 23 & 24 Laser Radial & 4.7 Regatta

Paul de Souza (Nassau)

Audrey O'Brien (Grand Bahama)

Richard Estime (Nassau) leading the group to the windward mark. Jeff Gale 

(Abaco) just behind.

Alex Thompson, Nicholas Rolle and Paul de Souza rounding the leeward mark

Spencer Cartwright (Nassau)

Photos and story courtesy of Robert Dunkley

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