Capasso, Nielson finish top-5 among North American competitors

Matheo Capasso finished 10th overall and Jaspar Nielson 11th to lead team Cayman at the North American Opti Championships, which were held 27 Sept. to 5 Oct. in the Bahamas.

When looking specifically at North American sailors – the competition featured entrants from nine countries outside North America – their performances look even more impressive. Capasso finished fourth among North Americans while Nielson took fifth.

Cayman Islands sailing coach Raphael Harvey, centre, is flanked by Jaspar Nielson, left, and Matheo Capasso, right. Both sailors finished top-11 overall at the 2019 North American Opti Championships.

“Overall I was very happy with my regatta,” Capasso said in a statement. “You always want to do better and there was a chance for me to do that, but on the whole, I have to be happy. Two years ago placing 90th overall, I never dreamed I could be fourth in North America.”

The highlight of the competition for Capasso was a first-place finish in his sixth race of the regatta. Capasso is now moving on from the Optimist fleet and into the Laser boat next year.

“Two years ago placing 90th overall, I never dreamed I could be fourth in North America.”

Matheo Capasso, Cayman Islands sailor

Nielson finished third in two of his races. In his final race of the competition, his third-place finish propelled him to 11th overall and fifth among North American sailors.

“I am incredibly happy with my results,” Nielson said in a statement. “My highlight was getting two thirds. I would not have been able to achieve that without the help of my mum and coaches. I am looking forward to seeing my team evolve in the next two years. I am sad to see my teammate Matheo go. I learned a lot of lessons and I wouldn’t be here without him.”

The only other countries to have two sailors finish in the top 11 overall were Brazil and Ireland. There were 163 sailors from 20 countries at the regatta.

Cayman sent a programme-high six sailors to the 2019 North American Opti Championships, held in the Bahamas.

Cayman sent its largest team to the annual event with six sailors. Xavier Marshall, Alex Charlton-Jones, Ciara Murphy and Allie Capasso also competed.






Overall                            Sailor                                  Pts.

10                                  Matheo Capasso                   111

11                                  Jaspar Nielson                       109

133                                Xavier Marshall.                    351

152                               Alexander Charlton-Jones       444

153                               Ciara Murphy                         445

156                               Allie Capasso                          448


Up next, the Cayman Islands Sailing Club is hosting its Banks & Back Race Saturday, 12 Oct. For more information, call 947-7913.

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