Young Craig Ferguson continues to make waves for The Bahamas in international sailing.
Ferguson, a 13-year-old ninth grader at St. John’s College, recently made history by becoming the first Bahamian to win the overall title in the silver fleet at the 2022 Arkas Optimist World Championship. The event was held from June 27 to July 7 in the Turkish Aegean tourist hub of Bodrum in Mugla province, Turkey.
The annual world championship regatta in the Optimist class is organized by the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA).
As for Ferguson, he had four top five finishes in the silver fleet and was first overall. He accumulated 200 total points and 161 net points to lead The Bahamas’ five-member team. Out of all of the sailors, in all of the fleets, Ferguson was 70th overall. Zane Munro was sixth in the silver fleet and 75th overall with 223 total points and 176 net points, Patrick Tomlinson was 33rd in the bronze fleet and 171st overall with 451 total points and 389 net points, Finley McKinney-Lambert was 39th in the bronze fleet and 177th overall with 477 total points and 407 net points, and Norman Cartwright rounded out the five sailors from The Bahamas with a sixth place finish in the emerald fleet and was 213th overall.
In the team competition, The Bahamas finished 31st overall with 3,835 points. Italy was the top performing nation with 743 points, Like golf, lowest score prevails. The United States was second with 1,032 points and Greece rounded out the top three nations with 1,080 points.
Bermuda was the top Caribbean-affiliated nation, finishing 29th overall with 3,703 points. The Bahamas finished second among Caribbean-affiliated countries. For The Bahamas, Ferguson scored 614 points, Munro scored 637 points, Tomlinson added 1,279 points and McKinney-Lambert contributed 1,305 points. Just the scores from the top four sailors were counted in the team competition.
In total, 276 sailors from 61 countries took part in the 11-day international regatta.
According to reports, it was an unforgettable experience for all of the sailors, competing in incredible sailing conditions and against a picturesque backdrop. The weather was conducive for sailing as it was sunny throughout the regatta.
In his six races in the silver fleet, Ferguson finished fourth, 27th, 22nd, fourth, first and third. As mentioned, he was first overall and was followed by Alejandro Ferrer Freire of Puerto Rico. Levian Buscher, of Germany, rounded out the top three.
Weka Bhanubandh, of Thailand, was the top sailor overall with 124 total points and 96 net points, edging James Pine of the United States by just one point.
The young Bahamian sailors were welcomed back to the country at Lynden Pindling International Airport by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg and a small contingent and were treated to a small Junkanoo rushout.