||Last Updated: Jun 11, 2021 - 7:19:36 PM
Thirteen young Team Bahamas sailors returned to The Bahamas after competing in the 2021 Optimist North American Sailing Championships (OptiNAMs) in Nuevo Vallarta, on the Pacific coast of Mexico last week.
After two days of qualifying races, Team Bahamas had two sailors reach the prestigious Gold Fleet- Craig Ferguson (age 13), who placed 25th overall, and veteran sailor Joshua Weech, (age 15) who also represented The Bahamas in the last Optimist World Championships in Antigua in 2019.
12-year-old Kaemen Floyd won first place in the Silver Fleet with all first place wins in the finals, followed by Matthew Reid in third place and Finley McKinney-Lambert in sixth place.
During the team racing series, in which four Bahamian boats competed together against teams from other countries, Team Bahamas placed fourth overall after a very exciting series of races that were watched by spectators from the shore.
The team of Bahamian sailors aged 11-15, comprised of nine boys and four girls from New Providence and Eleuthera, is the largest group to ever represent The Bahamas at an international Optimist continental championship. The last North American Optimist Sailing Championships were hosted by The Bahamas and were held in Montagu Bay, New Providence in 2019. Robert Dunkley and Martin Manrique coached the Bahamian team. There were 12 countries in total represented this year at OptiNAM in Mexico, and 110 sailors competing. The next major international Optimist regatta is the World Championships that will take place on Lake Garda, Italy at the end of June.
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