Kempe shines in the Cyprus sun

  • Sebastian Kempe competing in Cyprus (Photograph by Heidi Ringsted)

Sebastian Kempe finished as Bermuda’s top performer at the Optimist World Championships, which concluded in Limassol, Cyprus, on Thursday.

The Saltus Grammar School student finished fourteenth in the Silver Fleet, four places above team-mate Christian Ebbin, who was crowned senior fleet champion at the Volvo Gill Optimist British Nationals and Open Championship in North Wales last month.

Kempe managed two top-ten finishes and had a best finish of eighth in the second race of the final series.

“The competition was very tough and I was glad to go up against the world’s best,” he said. “I learnt a lot and enjoyed the experience.”

Ebbin, a Somersfield Academy student, posted three top-ten finishes, including a best showing of fourth in the final series, but struggled with consistency, which impeded his progress throughout the championship hosted by the Famagusta Nautical Club.

Leyli Walker, the only female sailor representing Bermuda in Cyprus, finished 56th in the Bronze Fleet with a best showing of 22nd, which she managed in the second race of the final series.

Magnus Ringsted was sixth in the Emerald Fleet, five places above team-mate Ahzai Smith.

Marco Gradoni, of Italy, won all but two of the races contested to win the regatta by a comfortable margin over nearest rival Stephan Baker, of the United States. Panwa Boonnak, of Thailand, rounded off the overall podium.

Maria Perello, of Spain, topped the girls’ fleet by a comfortable margin and was fourteenth overall.

Faith Hailey Toh, of Singapore, was second among the girls, followed by Faith Hailey Toh, of Switzerland.

Thailand won the team racing event after prevailing against Italy in the final.

Bermuda did not compete in the team racing event.