Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome’s Pan Am Games debut delayed

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

(L-R) BVI Sailing Federation Federation official, Tamsin Rand, Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome, BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn and Sailing Coach Alec Anderson in Paracas , Lima after the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games’ opening day races were called off for lack of wind PHOTO Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

PARACAS, Peru – Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome’s planned debut yesterday in the opening day of sailing in the 18th Pan Am Games sailing in Paracas, Peru was delayed because there was no wind.

With a noon start, two races were scheduled on opening day but by 3:45 p.m. when things hadn’t improved, officials called it a day.

“It was to be a 12 o’clock start. It’s a little delayed but it happens a lot,” said Lettsome who faced the same scenario during the ISAF World Youth Championships in Poland, July 13-20. “There’s breeze now but just waiting for it to be steady. Everyone is trying not to get anxious, don’t waste any energy and stay relaxed.”

Lettsome said he’s a ‘pretty relaxed person’ when asked how he deals with these types of situations. “I don’t even call it situations,” he said. “I’m just cooling. I’m chilling out. It’s just another thing you need patience for, no big deal.”

Lettsome said he came to sail and Monday’s scheduled reserve day, which will now become a race day, is normal for him and a lot of his colleagues.

“It’s not like anything else planned so it’s not really an issue,” he stated. “It would be nice if we have a full day off but if we have to sail, it’s no problem, just get ready for it the night before – do the same as you do every day. If it’s very windy the day after the rest day and the day of the rest day, that might change a little bit for you. I recover the day of the rest day, but it doesn’t really change anything much. “

He said he would have liked 9-10 knots of breeze to start the competition, relatively flat, and steady-ish breeze with some shifts. “No big breeze or anything for the first day,” he said.

As sailors, Coach Alec Anderson said, you can’t let the situation get to you. “This is the sport we play and you have to wait for the wind sometimes,” he said. “Keep cool, keep calm, stay in the shade, eat plenty of food, drink plenty of water and be ready to rumble when it happens. This is just part of the game.”

BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn and Secretary General Lloyd Black, took the three-hour trek from Lima to Paracas. “Well, it looks like the wind was not cooperating, but, it’s all good,” Penn said. “We got to see the guys and got to see the preparations, got to see the whole operation, how much it takes to get prepared and ready to go out there, so it’s an experience for me.”

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome excited about Pan Am Games debut

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Thad Lettsome at the 48th edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA (14-21 July 2018). Photo: Jen Edney/World Sailing

LIMA, Peru – When he puts his boat in the waters in Paracas, Peru on Saturday, August 3, Thad Lettsome, 17, will make history as the British Virgin Islands’ first Laser Sailor in its Pan American Games history.

“I’m excited and pretty motivated and all these people around me help me being excited about the whole thing,” said Lettsome who carried the BVI’s flag during Friday’s opening ceremony. “I’m looking to get a good experience out of it, come back in the future and do well, but still do well this time.”

Lettsome enters the games after finishing 19th overall at 2019 ISAF World Youth Championships in Poland held July 14-20 and has several familiar faces from the Caribbean he’ll meet here as well as other South American counterparts.

“It makes it easier as there are people here I know, obviously, and also easier because I’m comfortable around them, I know how good they are and what they’re like,” he said. “So, it takes away some of the nerves and jitters from not knowing who you’ll be sailing against.

His event is a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Prior to the Worlds, Lettsome attended nine international events in the past year. Among his performances, he was 22nd of 55 competitors in the US Nationals in January and won the 88th Sailing World Cup Miami which also took place in January and attracted 101 participants.

He was 10th of 76 competitors in the US Laser Radial Nationals in 2018 and placed 14th of 58 in the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships and 4th out of 125 entries in the Cork International Regatta in Canada.

His recent sojourn to Worlds as a final tune up he said was beneficial for Pan Ams. “It definitely helped me with race management as I was definitely up with the top guys and it would simulate this event being with a smaller group of people,” he noted. “So my managing of the rest of the fleet, my competition in Poland would help me a lot with race management.”

Lettsome has been working with Canadian Coach, Chris Watters, who guided his development at the Royal BVI Yacht Club, but will be coached by Alec Anderson at the Pan Am Games.

“He has a good perspective because he’s almost in this situation himself and has done many events even recently, so he really knows what he’s talking about and has a good Dinghy feel and a good feel for the boat I’m sailing, because he’s recently just sailing himself,” Lettsome explained. “It’s a really good new perspective and I’m still in touch with Chris so it will be a good mix.”

Lettsome will be in action August 3-10.

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

BVI makes splash in Pan Am Games opening ceremony

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Thad Lettsome (L) parade guide and Lindel “Chef” Hodge, prepping to parade into the stadium Photo: Alec Anderson

LIMA Peru—Although among the smallest of the 41 delegations, the British Virgin Islands made its splash during the 18th Pan Am Games opening ceremony in Lima, Peru last night, during an entertaining and colorful show.

Laser Sailor and flag bearer Thad Lettsome, Coach Alec Anderson and Chef de Mission Lindel “Chef” Hodge, were the territory’s reps marching in the ceremony that featured Peruvian history and culture.

As they marched into the national stadium, an image of the Baths was projected on the large rock backdrop which featured each country and later in the program the flags of all 41 nations, the BVI’s among them. “From time we walked out our apartment, everybody was watching us,” noted Hodge. “Everybody was in their suits and bland sweat suits and we had our pretty shirts with Be VI, it was an eye catcher. I wished we had more bodies, but we did what we had to do. Our shirts caught lots of eyes and everybody wanted to trade for our BVI pins after that.”

Lettsome, coming off participating in the ISAF World Youth Championships in Poland, July 14-20, said he was surprised there was so much space and the teams weren’t jammed up. “It was a fun, a good experience I won’t forget,” said Lettsome who’s making his games competition debut on August 3 and Paracas. “I’m pretty lucky I think to be doing this so young obviously, then holding the flag, so I’m trying not to take it for granted because a lot of people can’t do this.”

Alec Anderson captures Thad Lettsome as he prepares to enter the Peru National Stadium with the flag

Sailing Coach Alec Anderson said it was cool being able to represent the BVI in the opening ceremony. “I’ve always had a goal of going to the Olympics – though this is not quite the Olympics – it’s still a big opening ceremony with a lot of countries and a big crowd so it was pretty darn special to finally be able to walk through a tunnel, repping the BVI. So, I had a great time.”

While track and field officials will begin arriving in Lima tonight ahead of the athletes, Anderson and Lettsome will depart for Paracas on Monday morning to begin preparations for the Sailing competition that kicks off on Aug 8.

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Sailors Lettsome and Allen represent the VI at prestigious World Championships

BVI’s Thad Lettsome at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019. Photo copyright: Sailing energy/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome and Samuel Allen represented the Virgin Islands overseas at prestigious World Championships this month.

Thad Lettsome
17 year old Thad Lettsome’s finished in 19th position at the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland. Lettsome posted three top 10 finishes across the nine race series, remained composed and showed good tactical skills, sticking to and executing his plan for each race.

Day three was the best day for Lettsome when winds increased to range from 12-18 knots, much less variable and building through the day. Using sound tactics and boat on boat strategy, he finished 7th in the first race of the day. With stronger winds in the final race, Thad was able to overcome being on the wrong side of the first shift and pass 14 other boats on the final upwind leg to secure ninth to place him in the top five for the day.

“It has been a really difficult regatta for me, I am one of the larger sailors in the fleet and prefer to sail in the stronger breeze which we only saw on one day. I am happy with how I worked on my tactics and starts and I know I can battle the top sailors but I still have plenty to work on,” said Lettsome.

Competing in the Laser Radial, he faced 56 other sailors from around the world in this prestigious one-sailor per nation event. It was a very challenging regatta with the wind strength under 10 knots for 7 of the 9 races leading to mixed fortunes and a high scoring regatta for all competitors.

This was Lettsome’s third time at the Championships, where he finished in 33rd place in 2017 in China and 14th in 2019 in the USA.

The Youth Sailing World Championships is the pinnacle event for youth sailors. Held annually since 1971, it is the event that highlights sailing’s future Olympic, America’s Cup and professional superstars in the sport.

Lettsome was also a part of the World Sailing Emerging Nations Program which includes a training clinic just prior to the regatta. The Royal BVI Yacht Club thanks World Sailing for their continued and valuable support for up and coming athletes.

Pan Am Games
Next up, Lettsome will join the VI’s track and field senior athltes and travel to Peru as part of the VI team competing at the Pan American Games. Awarded a Universality Place, Lettsome will compete in the men’s one person dinghy event sailing a Laser against 21 sailors from across North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. He is the first VI sailor since the 1990s to compete at a Pan Am Games which is also a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“I am eager and excited to get back into the Laser,” said Lettsome. “It will be a very different regatta [to Poland] and I’ve got the opportunity to have a go at qualifying for one of the two remaining Olympic spots for North American sailors.”

Lettsome has the additional honour of being the territory’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony. Racing will start on August 3 through to August 10.

Follow the coverage from Peru with Dean ‘The Sportsman’ Greenaway’s daily reports and radio broadcasts on CBN 90.9FM.

Samuel Allen
On 6 July, Team BVI youth sailor Samuel Allen travelled to Antigua to take part in the 2019 Optimist World Championships. 259 sailors from 65 nations took part in this prestigious event.

Allen was assigned to the Emerald fleet after the six race qualifying series. A further four races were completed after the final day’s racing was cancelled due to small craft weather warnings! Antigua certainly delivered up some Caribbean treats with conditions ranging from champagne sailing to wet, wild and windy. Unfortunately, Allen had to carry two letter scores from day two due to illness but remained committed to finish overall in 251st position.

The RBVIYC thanks team Trinidad and Tobago for their support throughout the regatta.

The Optimist class is the biggest international sailing class for youth sailors who may compete up to the age of 15. It is a notable marker that many of sailing’s greatest stars began their sailing journey in the Optimist.

Lima 2019 Pan Am Games athletes announced at Olympic Day Sports Festival

Lima 2019 athletes representing the Virgin Islands include Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser). Photos: track & field athletes – BVI Olympic Committee, Thad Lettsome – Royal BVI Yacht Club

Four athletes were officially confirmed as members of the team who will represent the Virgin Islands in track and field and sailing at the Lima 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games this Summer. The announcement was made at the 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival held on Saturday, June 22 at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground when Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee named the four as Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser).

Both athletics and sailing were among 20 other disciplines at Lima 2019 confirmed earlier this month as being qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Congratulating the athletes, Hon. Smith said, “Qualifying for these Games has become much tougher than previous years and, given the elevated standards and smaller team representing the VI this year, we are justifiably proud and excited to be sending a group of strong competitors who have the proven talent to make history and win our first ever medal – or medals!- in the Pan Am Games. We are also pleased that we have a young sailor who will bring us back into the Games after a long respite.”

The 3 senior athletes who will be competing in track and field events met their specific qualifying marks with outstanding achievements:

Kyron McMaster, who will compete in the 400m Hurdles semi-final on August 6th, qualified by winning gold at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Eldred Henry, competing in the shot put finals on August 7th, qualified for the PanAms with his record setting performance during the indoor season. Chantel Malone, set to compete in the long jump finals on August 7th hit her qualifier when she claimed the then world #1 spot with a personal best leap of 6.9m at the at the 3rd Annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia on April 26, 2019. The mark currently ranks Malone #2 in the world.

Joining the 3 track and field athletes is Thad Lettsome who, at 17 years of age, makes history for the VI as the first sailor since the 1990s to represent the VI at the Pan Am Games. Awarded a universality place by the organisers, Lettsome will start his competition in the Men’s Laser class on August 3rd.

Former national sprinter, Mr. Lindel ‘Chef’ Hodge is the Chef de Mission for Lima 2019.

“This is the VI’s 10th Pan Am Games. We have competed in each of the Games since the 9th edition and, in fact, our first appearance at the 1983 Pan Am Games was the starting point for the establishment of the BVI Olympic Committee. The closest we have come to a medal was in 1987 when our softball team finished 4th after a narrow 4-3 loss against Cuba in the bronze medal game but we are hopeful that 2019 will be the year we make the podium,” said Honourable Smith, a member of the historical 1987 softball team.

The 19th edition of the Pan Am Games will be held in Lima, Peru from July 26th to August 11. Approximately 6,700 participants from 41 countries in the Caribbean and Americas are expected to compete in 39 sports and 61 disciplines, 22 of which are qualifiers for Tokyo 2020. News on the Games and the athletes will be provided by Dean Greenaway’s daily reports to media and via radio broadcast on CBN 90.9FM at 5.00pm through August 5th and then at 9.00am, 2.00pm and 9.00pm from August 6 – 11.

VI sailors make news – Thad Lettsome selected for Lima 2019 PanAm Games

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome. Source:All at Sea

2019 PanAm Games
Thad Lettsome will be representing the Virgin Islands (UK) in the Men’s Laser event at this year’s Pan American Games in Peru. The territory’s #1 Laser sailor has been awarded a Universality Place by the organizing committee and will be traveling to the prestigious event in July this year.

The BVI has not been represented in the sailing events at the PanAm Games since the 1990s.

RWU Hall of Fame
BVI Sailor, Alec Anderson, has been inducted into the Roger Williams University Hall of Fame. Anderson was a four-year member of the RWU Sailing team, ending his career as one of the most accomplished sailors in program history. He was a three-time ICSA All-American Coed Skipper and a three-time All-NEISA First Team Skipper. Congratulations Alec!

Charleston Race Week
Colin Rathbun, Christian Thompson, Ted Reshetiloff and Max Reshetiloff representing the BVI raced in the Flying Tiger 7.5 class with Andrew Kerr at the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week. The Team finished 1st overall with four wins in the 9 race series and never finishing lower than third in any race. Congratulations Team BVI!

VI sailor Thad Lettsome competes at Hempel World Cup Series 2019

By RBVIYC

BVI’s Thad Lettsome placed 88th at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019, Miami, USA Jan 27 – Feb 3. Photo copyright: Sailing energy/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome from the Virgin Islands placed 88th in the Laser class at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019 in Miami, USA  (January 27 – February 3). The top three places went to Hermann Tomasgaard (Norway) 1st, Sam Meech (New Zealand) 2nd, and Tom Burton (Australia) 3rd.

Competing at his first elite regatta at just 16 years of age, Lettsome raced in a fleet of 101 Lasers (the equipment used at the Olympic Games) including Olympic medalists and world champions.  Conditions were tricky throughout the regatta with storms whipping through the course areas and dramatic wind shifts providing challenges to all.

The qualifying series consisted of four races over two days before the fleet was divided into gold and silver fleets.  In light shifty conditions, Lettsome posted consistent results with his best finish in 39th position.  Assigned to the silver fleet, he went on to impress with outstanding scores in races 8 and 9 when he claimed 7th and 5th place.

With an excellent overall position of 88th, Lettsome takes home some valuable experience from his first elite senior regatta. Upcoming challenges for Lettsome will include the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland in July.

The Hempel World Cup Series is the annual series of Olympic sailing events for elite and professional sailors.  The multi-class regattas attract the best of the best with this year’s Miami event listing 101 Laser entries including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tom Burton, and bronze medalist Sam Meech.

The BVI’s Thad Lettsome aiming high

By Carol M. Bareuther, All At Sea (November 2018 issue)

Click to down load and read this inspiring article and profile of young, BVI sailor, Thad Lettsome who is aiming for the top.

Thad Lettsome. Source:All at Sea

Fifth Place for Thad Lettsome at ISSA Nationals

By RBVIYC
 

Thad Lettsome placed 5th at the Inter Scholastic Sailing Association National Championships. Photo: Elle Bruce

Thad Lettsome represented Tabor Academy at the US Inter Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) National Championships sailing the Laser during the weekend of weekend of 27-28 October.
Lettsome finished in fifth place overall with two first place scores in his series.
 
It was a cool weekend with light, shifty winds for the most part until the last two races when a shift to the west provided a solid 12-15knts of breeze to end the regatta.
The regatta was hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club on Lake Michigan.
Click to read the full report

Lettsome Finishes On a High at 2018 Youth Worlds

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome finished in 14th place at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas. Photo: Jen Edney/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome finished the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships in 14th place. Racing in the 58 strong Boy’s Laser Radial event Lettsome pulled out all the stops on the final day of racing to clinched a 5th place and raise himself one place up the leaderboard.

Racing took place from 16-20 July with two races per day until the final day when one race was sailed. Lettsome sprang out of the blocks on day one with a 13th and a 6th and continued to punch out all but two top 20 finishes. Proving that consistency is key and ending the regatta with his best result is a terrific boost.

“It was an epic day today, I had to battle really hard with the Spanish sailor to get ahead of him overall,” said Lettsome. “We worked on a plan and I believe I executed it the best I could.”

“There were just four points separating 11th to 14th,” commented coach Chris Watters. “On a normal day a fifth would have moved him up all those spots but all the other competitors in that range put out their best race as well! It was really great to see them all step up.”

There were 382 competitors from 66 nations at this year’s event racing in nine events – this is the best of the best. In December, Lettsome travelled to China for his first Youth Worlds and finished a very creditable 33th place.

“I am very proud of Thad and his performance this year, he has accomplished a huge amount in the last six months,” said Coach Watters.

At 16 years of age, Lettsome has another two years of eligibility to compete at this championship which in 2019 will be hosted by Gdynia, Poland.

Earlier in July, Lettsome finished in 10th place at the US Laser Radial Nationals which he used a training event for the Worlds. Next up will be CORK regatta in Kingston, Canada from 13-17 August. He also represents the Tabor Academy racing Club 420s in the high school circuit.

The Royal BVI Yacht Club thanks World Sailing for the support from the ENP and for putting on another great event, coach Chris Watters and everyone who supports the Youth Sailing Programme in the BVI.

Click for results
Click for photos

ENP Scholarship
Lettsome was awarded a scholarship by World Sailing to join their Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) which included a coaching clinic in the days leading up to the Championships. “The clinic is a great opportunity for the sailors to get used to the area before the competition starts, fine tune and prepare for sailing with a big fleet of boats.” said Lettsome.

About the Youth Sailing World Championships
The Youth Sailing World Championships is the premiere event on the youth racing calendar. With just one entry per nation per event it is the ultimate achievement to gain the opportunity to represent your country.

First contested in 1971 a long list of sailing greats have won medals at this event as they emerged onto the international stage.