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26 November 2010, 05:04 pm
Gesa Bornemann Wins Bermuda National Optimist Championship
Bermuda Optmist national championship
The Optimist fleet in action

Hamilton, Bermuda

There's been lot's of action in Bermuda over recent weeks with new national champions crowned in the Optimist, Etchells and J105 classes.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers 2010 Bermuda Open and National Optmist Championships
Perfect sailing weather dominated three spectacular days of racing almost as consistently as the German sailors dominated on the water. 34 sailors were tested over 15 races with winds ranging from 4 knots to 18 knots over the three days. 16 overseas sailors from Germany, Switzerland, USA and Canada joined the local fleet for the Open Championship, hosted by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) from 12 to 14 November.

Gesa Bornemann, a 13 year old German girl, invaded Bermuda and took home the PWC Open Championship title. She started the series at the top and never let her guard down, leading all three days with consistent top five finishes. Bornemann won the Gold Fleet title as well as the Top Female prize.

Not far behind was German countrywoman Muriel-Natalie Schroder. In third place was local ace and 2009 Bermuda National Champion Sam Stan who won four of the 15 races and progressively stepped up his game to challenge the Germans over the course of the regatta. Stan wowed the local spectators by convincingly winning the final two races and the National Championship title in the blustery 18 knot breeze on Sunday.

The top five places were rounded out with the fourth spot taken by Marvin Firsch, current German National Champion and the top Bermudian female Ellie Wollmann in fifth. BODA president Anthony Bailey was "thankful for the excellent and varied sailing con ditions over the three days and was impressed with the level of sailing he saw on the racecourse". Bailey thanked the sailors, sponsors, families and many volunteers for their "fantastic effort".

On the Green Fleet course in Hamilton Harbour for the younger and less experienced racers, Matilda Nicholls won by a narrow margin over Joe Arrowsmith and Lily Barboza. 16 sailors were entered in the Green Fleet regatta. New sailor Kieran Swann was awarded the first annual Peter Mitchell Sportsmanship Award for his consistent display of positive support of his fellow sailors. Green Fleet guru Tom Coleman, who led the fun intro-to-racing weekend at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, was encouraged by the high standard of sailing and boat handling he witnessed.

Awards were handed out at an evening by The Hon. Glenn Blakeney J.P., M.P., Minister of Youth, Families, Sports and Community Development. The Minister surprised the crowd when he publicly endorsed his support behind making Sailing a National Sport, a remark met by thunderous applause.

National Keelboat Championships
The 2010 Bacardi National Keelboat Championships were completed over the weekend of 20-21 November for the J105, International One Design and Etchells classes. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was the host club for the annual Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) event. Winds eased throughout the day on Saturday forcing the sailors to continue to "change gears" and adjust equipment to deal with the conditions.

Defending National Champion Jon Corless and the crew of 'Mayhem' prevailed by a slim margin in the J105 class and we re-crowned 2010 National Champions. Sailing with Corless was Jen Quinn, Rebecca Roberts, Craig Scott, Jeff Roach and Jordan Smith. All six of Bermuda's J105's made it out to the Great Sound. 'Mayhem' edged out her nearest rivals by two points, leaving a tie breaking count back to determine second place. James Macdonald's ' Passion' ended up taking second while Chuck Millican and his crew onboard "Elusive' were third.

The International One Design (IOD) class saw an interesting result as Tim Lynch and his crew on 'Impulse' dethroned defending National Champion Penny Simmons aboard 'Ariel'. Simmons' poor fifth place finish in race four opened the door for Lynch to lift the title. Lynch and his crew of Steve Musicant, Barry Zurbuchena and Stephen Benn are normally seen sailing in the J24 fleet. The J24 National Championships will be sailed next week on Saturday 27 November.

The Etchells class enjoyed two days of racing to determine their champion while the other two classes completed their racing on Saturday. Chris Britton sailing 'Fram' along with Will Thompson and Malcolm Graham-Taylor were the leaders after the first day and continued their fine form on Sunday in very light winds to win by a comfortable margin. In second place was frequent visitor Jason Owen from the UK and Martin Vezina in third place.

Bermuda Sailing Association Website -

Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association Website -

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