Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome Building Up His Sailing Stock

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By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

After competing in the Miami World Cup that wrapped up on February 3, Laser sailor Thad Lettsome will tackle the Mid Winters in Clearwater Florida, on Feb 20, as he continues honing his craft. 

He’s the first sailor taking up the Laser since Robbie Hirst, the territory’s first international medalist in any sport, won the 1987 ISAF World Jr. Championships Laser silver medal and the last man to represent the territory in the sport in that same class in Atlanta, 1996.

“The conditions in Miami we tricky, cloud cover on some days, changing the windspeed a lot making it very shifty and on other days, dying out conditions making it the breeze very light, making it difficult for the race organizers to start races,” Lettsome told Island Sun Sports. “I had a slow start to the event where I would make some small tactical mistakes on the first leg of the race, because the fleet is so advanced, I would get passed by a lot of boats and playing catch up for the rest of the race. I was finally able to minimize these mistakes on the second to last and last day where I placed higher in the fleet.”

He added: “I had a seventh, fifth and 16thto finish to finish up. Overall, I finished 88 out of 100. Going to the regatta, I know it would be a difficult event on the Olympic circuit, with 18 months to the next Olympics, lots of sailors would be at the event with the intention of either retaining or getting to the Olympics. Knowing this, I went with goals in mind and one was to improve my start, which I did. I had several starts in both races where I did well and I feel that I’ve improved well in that area. I also wanted to see how my speed is against some of the best in the world and I was able to matchup against good sailors on the water and found that I’m not far off and even though I have work to do, I’m in a good position.”

From the event, Lettsome said he learned that when he has the opportunity to put people behind him, he has to do it right away and not wait to try and get ahead by more, because you never know what will happen, so take the chance. He said he also learned the importance of moving at the starting line before everyone else does so that you have a clear start and a clear lanes, so that you can have options on the first leg of the race.”  

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