Youth sailors wrap up 2016 in Orange Bowl Regatta, Miami

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome in action in Miami Photo: Matias Capizzano

Thad Lettsome in action in Miami Photo: Matias Capizzano

Three Team BVI Sailors wrapped up 2016 with a trip to Miami to race in the 2016 Orange Bowl Regatta, December 26-30, 2016.

The first two days of racing saw light winds from 5-10 knots. The third day of racing was cancelled but the final day of racing had stronger winds from 14-18 knots to close out the regatta.

Thad Lettsome raced in the Laser Radial class with ten races sailed. With 84 boats registered the competition was fierce but Thad was on consistent form throughout, posting top 10 finishes in 6 races in the series. Comfortably qualifying for the gold fleet, he went on to finish in sixth place overall.

Thad’s younger brother, Ryan Lettsome was racing in the Optimist fleet along with team mate, Nathan Haycraft.

Racing in an enormous fleet of 255 boats split into four flights proved to be a challenging experience for both sailors and they both found themselves with black flag starting penalties on day one. Ten races were sailed in the series but competitors were only able to discard their worst score so a starting penalty really hurts and more than one is almost impossible to recover from.

Ryan received a black flag in the first two races but managed to steady himself and complete the regatta without further mishap and finished 94th in the silver fleet.

Things did not go so well for Nathan Haycraft who, despite some top 20 race finishes received further penalties and finished the regatta in 125th place in the silver fleet