Thad Lettsome has completed a series of winter training events which culminated in competition at the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami at which he finished in 24th position.
Lettsome fired out of the blocks on day one, finishing the first race in 11th place in the 40 boat fleet, this would be his best position in the eight race series with a 31st in the second race of the day. With heavier winds on day two, Lettsome again started well, made good tactical decisions and finished in 16th position in the first race of the day. The second race started under the Black Flag and unfortunately this was to be his discard as he received the BFD starting penalty.
Day three was the windiest day of the regatta gusting up to 25 knots. A tangle with another competitor who capsized on top of Lettsome at the start lead to a less than pleasing 28th but a solid second race of the day added a 22nd to his scoresheet. A major takeaway from this day was the need for more time on the water in heavy winds and even more hard work in the gym to improve fitness levels. With races approximately 50 minutes long, every day on the water is extremely physical!
The fourth day turned out to be the final day of racing as the wind did not come in the following day and the three scheduled races were cancelled. Lettsome’s last race, after a long wait on the water would be one of his best with excellent tactical decisions, particularly on the final downwind legs, seeing him finish in 18th.
Lettsome’s final overall position was 24th.
Competitors at this event include multiple experienced world cup and world championship competitors and Lettsome continues to show his rapid development and abilities to challenge the very best in the world. Congratulations to fellow islander, Andrew Lewis from Trinidad and Tobago who finished in the bronze medal position and secured his place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Next up on the competition schedule is the Laser World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, starting this Sunday.
Training Camps and Clinics
Prior to the event in Miami, Thad attending a number of training camps to prepare for the regatta in Miami.
A Thanksgiving Clinic and News Year’s Clinic & Coaches Regatta in Miami saw Lettsome make major gains and the regatta was a great test against some of the sailors who would be competing at the World Cup. Unfortunately, conditions were light for these training clinics so didn’t quite match up to the conditions during the regatta but that is sailing for you!
Pre-Christmas training at home in the BVI was extremely beneficial. With the beautiful BVI conditions, there was plenty of time to train in stronger winds and short choppy waves so some serious hiking practice!
Lettsome also spent two afternoons working with the ‘next-gen’, bringing together the BVI’s more advanced young sailors to share experiences of Laser sailing at the next level. Not only did the young sailors get to test their skills on the water, they were also given some valuable on-shore briefings by Lettsome and Coach Watters to help them improve rigging, tuning and set up for different conditions. All involved worked extremely hard and the future is bright for Laser sailing in the BVI.