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Lettsome finishes 2nd @ Junior PanAm Games U-21 sailing

Virgin Islands (VI) Sailor, Thad A. Lettsome has finished in an overall 6th place and 2nd in the U-21 category at the Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia.

A release from the Royal BVI Yacht Club on the performance of young Lettsome said his stellar results came as part of a fleet of 14 sailors sailing the ILCA7 (Laser) with Virgin Islander up against the best in the region aged 17-22.

"Six races were completed across three days with Lettsome making a strong start on day one working hard amongst the top of the fleet. The strategy was to ensure a clean start, keep with the top of the pack and address the long racecourse features. With winds ranging from 12-20 knots and many tactical challenges on the race course, Lettsome executed well to finish the day in fourth overall," the release said.

For day two, the ILCA7 fleet were on the much narrower race area B and the race committee set a windward-leeward course instead of the traditional trapezoid.

"With the breeze building through the day up to 24 knots, speed against the top guys in the fleet was tricky to manage and despite his high overall fitness and strength, Lettsome's lighter weight proved to be a challenge. Excellent decision making and starting tactics were delivered in both races with positions of the day being 6th and 7th."

Similar conditions persists for the final day as with to previous day and the fleet were back in action on course area B. According to information, the Strategy for the day was to go all out in race one and do everything possible to get onto the winning track early, which Lettsome delivered perfectly. Fighting hard for the duration of the race, Lettsome was fast downwind and upwind to finish in 4th place in race 5.

Race 6 'a struggle'


For race 6, the final race, the same strategy was used. Aggressive boat end start, and fight for the right side. With not much energy left in the tank, and as well a fleet that had gotten closer in speed, Thad would struggle to stay with the top leaders in the race. Finishing with his worst score of the series (9th) Thad dropped this from his overall score and remained in 6th place overall. A disappointing way to finish the regatta, but in 22-26 knot winds, it was a tough fight for everyone.

Still 19 years of age, Lettsome was one of the youngest sailors in the fleet and finished 2nd in the U-21 category behind Argentina who turns 21 next month!

The Junior PanAm Games took place in Cali Colombia for athletes aged 17-22 and marks a pathway for athletes in 39 sports transitioning from junior to elite competition. The BVI was represented in Squash, 3x3 basketball, men's 200m and women's 100m.

Results (top 10) for sailing regatta

1. Clemente Seguel (CHI)

2. Juan Pablo Cardozo (ARG)

3. Luc Chevrier (LCA)

4. Gerardo Rodriguez (MEX)

5. Leandre Boucher (USA)

6. Thad Lettsome (IVB)

7. Malcolm Benn Smith (BER)

8. Matias Callejas (GUA)

9. Luis Plata Cruz (COL)

10. Pedro Madureira (BRA)

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