Sailor Thad Lettsome busy with university racing circuit

Thad Lettsome (helmsman) races on the Green Wave Team of Tulane University

BVI sailor Thad Lettsome has been keeping busy on the university racing circuit representing the Green Wave Team of Tulane University.

Back in September, Lettsome finished in 4th place at the MAISA Laser North Qualifier in a fleet of 16 sailors. With light winds throughout the weekend, Lettsome was the highest placed finisher for Tulane. With 14 races across the two-day competition, he posted a string of top five finishes including two 1st place finishes and three 2nds.

On October 9 and 10, the Coed team traveled to Connecticut for the Atlantic Coast Championship which was held on the Charles River and featured 18 of the Top 20 teams in the country. The event also served as a sneak peak for the national championship this spring. The Green Wave had to battle back to 9th position and were able to secure the final bid to the finals in the very last race thanks to a strong performance by Thad Lettsome and Gillian Perrell.

“It really came down to Thad and Gillian having to match what the sailors from Bowdoin were looking to do,” head coach Charles Higgins said. “At the end of the day, Thad and Gillian did exactly what we needed them to do.”

The finals took place on the St Mary’s River in Maryland this weekend where the sailing COED team climbed up three spots in the standings to finish fifth out of 18 teams in the Atlantic Coast Championship on Sunday, October 24.

The weekend of October 18, the Nevins Trophy took place at King’s Point in New York with winds from the south ranging from 12 to 22 knots. Taking the helm for races 1 through 10, Lettsome gave the team a strong start towards their final finishing position of fourth overall.

2021 Junior Pan American Games
In November Thad will representing the BVI at the inaugural Junior PanAm Games in Cali, Colombia. Racing in the ILCA 7 (Laser) he will face off against the best sailors of North and South America and the Caribbean.

Thad Lettsome qualifies for Cali 2021 Junior PanAm Games

Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome at the Lima 2019 PanAm Games. PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Thad Lettsome has qualified the BVI for the Cali 2021 Junior PanAm Games in the one person dinghy event. The Games are scheduled to take place from 8-19 September in Cali, Colombia.

With COVID restrictions making qualification regattas impossible, the organizers looked back at recent Youth World Championship results for sailors across the PanAm region and selected just five countries in the first round of qualifiers for the ILCA (Laser) class.  

The BVI is in prestigious company and with this qualification is joined by some of the world’s biggest sailing nations – Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada and the USA.

Lettsome raced at his first Youth World Championships in 2017 when he was just 15 and finished as the top ranked sailor from the Caribbean. At the following editions in 2018 and 2019 he continued to lead the way for the Caribbean sailors and was also ranked in the top five of all sailors from the PanAm region.

In 2019, Lettsome received an invitation to attend the PanAm Games in Lima, Peru where he finished in 19th place.  Now 19 years of age and a player on the senior racing circuit, he has his sights set on representing the BVI at the Olympic Games and joining an elite group of just seven other BVI sailors. 

The 2021 Junior PanAm Games are the first edition of a new quadrennial event.  The sailing events will take place on Lake Calima from 16-18 September.

Athlete’s across 27 sports and between the ages of 18 and 22 in the year of the event and gold medalists will receive automatic qualification to the Santiago 2023 PanAm Games.