The Final Races of the BODA Worlds Trails were sailed recently with 2011 National Champion Rory Caslin clinching the top spot as expected.
Caslin never let the lead go during the 20 race series which spanned 4 race days over 3 weekends. Close behind in second place was Mikey Wollmann who sailed consistently throughout the series and pushed Caslin, finishing only 3 points behind the leader.
One point back in third place was Antonio Bailey, who never gave up despite a poor first day, pressing the fleet on the remaining days and sailing at the top of his game in a multitude of conditions. Chase Cooper and Makia Joell rounded out the top 5 and all became eligible to represent Bermuda at this year's IODA World Championships. This year's regatta will be sailed July 15 – 26th in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.
Also included in the top 10 of the twenty-seven boat fleet were Peter Dill, Benn Smith, Ceci Wollmann, Campbell Patton and Matilda Nicholls. Final day race officer Jay Hooper commented, "It was a magnificent day on the water, five good races in winds if 14-21 knots. The use of the RBYC committee boat "Cleopatra" was a fine end to four days of tightly contested Opti trials. The young sailors spent 400 minutes of actual racing that day and sailed magnificently. "
Recent Olympic qualifiers Jesse and Zander Kirkland both represented Bermuda at the IODA Worlds as young sailors. Jesse placed the highest of any Bermuda entry, capturing a 2nd place in 2002 and 4th place in 2003. Bermuda's other top 10 finishes were achieved by Sean Bouchard in 2005 and James Anfossi in 2007. Bouchard placed 10th overall while James Anfossi placed 5th. Bouchard is currently in his final year at Roger Williams University and is a key member of their nationally ranked sailing team (#6 as of May 2nd). 85% of the skippers of the medal-winning Olympic boats in Qingdao were former Optimist sailors and 67% had participated in IODA world and/or continental championships. With this in mind, the future of Bermuda Sailing looks bright!