The boys are back in town.
Cayman’s optimist sailors reflect on a job well done at the 2018 Optinam in Mexico that saw two top-75 Gold Fleet performances. The team was led by 13-year Matheo Capasso who sailed to a Cayman Islands Sailing Club all-time best of 24th overall.
“I’m very pleased with my results,” said Capasso. “I was hoping to do a bit better, some of the races I was up at the top, but I don’t know what happened.”
Another personal best came from 12-year old Jaspar Nielsen who placed 75th overall placing in the Gold Fleet: his highest finish in an international regatta.
“I didn’t really expect to finish in Gold Fleet so it was really a good surprise,” said Nielsen. “It motivates me to keep working harder and trying to push that result up so I can do better next year.”
In just his second international regatta, 13-year-old James Costa finished 42nd overall in the Silver Fleet. Costa says it was a valuable learning experience for future opportunities.
“Now I realize what I need to work on, more of what I need to get better at train more hours on the water,” said Costa.
14-year old George Hider recovered from three black flag infractions in the first five qualifying races to move up to 42nd in Silver Fleet.
“I just told myself to forget the races and think about the next races,” said Hider. “There was a lot of boats and it’s high quality, so it made me realize that I need to be on the water and practice.”
In their first time sailing in a continental team event, Cayman also placed fourth overall in the team competition.
The Opti’s will compete in both the British Nationals (4th-10 August) and the Irish Nationals (16th-19th August) before both Capasso and Hider compete in at the 2018 World Championships in Cyprus 27th August-6th September. Capasso says Optinam gave them a taste of what’s in store.
“It was a great experience because I was up there with some of the best people, and it was a good learning experience,” said Capasso.