Bermuda youth sailing received a glowing endorsement after Christian Ebbin and Rachael Betschart produced podium displays competing at the Cork International Optimist Regatta in Ontario, Canada at the weekend.
Ebbin won the regatta with Betschart also doing herself and the island immensely proud after finishing second among the girls and 16th in an overall fleet of 163 sailors from ten different countries.
Ebbin was virtually unstoppable during the four qualifying races as he won all of them to advance to the Gold Fleet with minimum resistance.
The 14-year-old sailor continued his dominance competing in the four-race series in the Gold Fleet where he chalked two more victories to finish six points clear of nearest rival Gil Hackel of the United States after all was said and done on the waters of Olympic Harbour in Portsmouth.
“The last day of racing was very challenging when we split out into Gold Fleet,” Ebbin said.
“I was very happy with my final races and excited to make it to the podium.”
Betschart also made a flying start after posting four top-ten showings in the qualifying races to cement her place in the Gold Fleet convincingly.
She lost some momentum at the business end of the regatta, but still managed to finish second behind girls winner Laura Hamilton, of the United States, who rounded off the overall podium in third.
Another local securing a top-ten showing in Ontario was Magnus Ringsted who finished seventh, with three top-three finishes which included two firsts and a second.
In all, Bermuda was represented by a team of seven sailors all of whom qualified for the Gold Fleet.
Amelia Lewis finished 23rd, Laura Hupman 24th, Ethan Thompson 25th and Sophia Dias 39th.
“I was really pleased to see all of our sailors in Gold Fleet at Cork Regatta,” Pablo Weber, the Bermuda coach, said.
“They handled the varied conditions well and were able to produce some great results even under pressure.”
Ebbin has been in sparkling form this summer.
He placed third at this month’s Volvo Gill Optimist British and Open Championship in England and eighth in a record fleet of 259 sailors at last month’s Optimist World Championship in Antigua.
“Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association is thrilled to see Christian continue his international podium finishes,” Dede Cooper, the Boda vice-president, said.
“We are equally pleased with Rachael Betschart who was second girl overall and Magnus who was 7th.
“Also great to see the up and coming sailors like PJ Rodrigues finishing 15th as well.”