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Kilgore Gifted Center student qualifies for the U.S. Optimist Team Trials
Will Chapman, a seventh grade student at Kilgore Gifted Center, participated in the U.S. Optimist Development Association (USODA) Southeast Championship Regatta in Norfolk, Virginia, October 22-23, 2022. In a total of eight races over two days, Will placed 19th out of 103 sailors and earned a chance to compete in the 2023 U.S. team trials. This highly-competitive selection regatta will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida in May, and qualifies top sailors for Optimist International Championships, the US National Team and the U.S. Development Team.
This is Will’s fourth year competing at the national level in the Optimist dinghy, a single-handed sailboat raced competitively in over 110 countries. He also enjoys competing in sailboat team racing where a small team of three or four sailors competes against other teams in a strategic maritime game of cats and mice. In 2022, his team competed in the USODA Team Race National Championship held in Hampton and the International Opti Team Race Regatta in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to the U.S. Team Trials, Will expects to train for and compete in a host of other USODA and local events in 2023 to test his skills against other sailors from around the world.
When he is not sailing, Will enjoys biking, traveling, playing video games with friends, and playing with his dog, Salty.