Christian Ebbin will rest his title on the line at the Bermuda Open and National Optimist Championship, which starts tomorrow in the Great Sound.
The 14-year-old Somersfield Academy student captured a maiden national title last year, reeling off ten-top three finishes, including six firsts.
He is hoping to defend his crown competing among a formidable fleet of 118 sailors representing five countries.
“This is a very large fleet and I have sailed against many of them,” Ebbin said. “It is exciting to have so many sailors from overseas, which makes it more challenging and gives us bigger start lines to practice on.
“It is looking to be a very windy weekend. I just hope Saturday isn’t too windy and we can get to sail. These conditions can be very challenging.
“We have been training hard over the last few weekends with our national coach [Pablo Weber] and sail in the race area regularly.”
Ebbin is going into the championship with momentum having produced an impressive ninth-place showing at the Optimist North American Championship Nassau, Bahamas, last month.
“I feel really good coming off of the North Americans,” he added. “I will just aim to sail every race to the best I can.”
Ebbin has enjoyed yet another stellar year having won the Cork International Optimist Regatta in Ontario, Canada, finishing second at the Volvo Gill Optimist British and Open Championship in England and eighth at the Optimist World Championship in Antigua.
Meanwhile, other local sailors expected to be thick in the hunt for honours include Magnus Ringsted, who was third among the local boys and ninth overall at last year’s event.
This year will see a new girls’ champion crowned in the absence of last year’s winner Samara Walshe of the United States.
Bermuda’s Amelia Lewis will be looking to go one better having finished second last year but she has her work cut out as compatriots Nicole Stovell and Laura Hupman are also expected to mount strong challenges.
The Bermuda Open and National Optimist Championship is being hosted by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and runs from tomorrow until Monday.