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Four-time national champ Weech aiming for the Olympics

Joshua Weech began sailing at the age of nine, experiencing difficulty getting out of the marina at the Nassau Yacht Club at first, but now he is one of the top junior sailors in The Bahamas.

The Bahamas National Sailing School (BNSS) sailor was coached by his older brother Johnathan Weech through those first steps and early days in sailing. It wasn’t long before Joshua was able to make the boat go in the right direction himself. From there, he developed a determination to master the optimist dinghy and become the best optimist sailor in The Bahamas.

In his five years of sailing, Joshua Weech has amassed an impressive sailing career with 24 first-place finishes, 12 floating, 11 second-place finishes, three third-place finishes and one top Bahamian recognition at the 2019 Optimist North American Championship (OPTINAM). In addition, he holds four national championships, one in the 1420 class and is also a three-time winner of the Geoffrey Holowesko – Bahamas Optimist National Champion trophy, which he won in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The young sailor was named the 2018 Sir Durward Knowles Junior Sailor of the Year, which was particularly gratifying for him as Sir Durward is his sailing hero. Joshua is particularly proud to be the first Bahamian optimist sailor to represent the country in the gold fleet at an International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) event. This was a goal he set for himself and accomplished at home in The Bahamas at the 2019 Optimist North American

Championship.

He has also received national recognition for his accomplishments and was awarded the government of The Bahamas’ 2019 Rising Star Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports.

Weech began sailing with his coach, Robert Dunkley, at BNSS and since the start of his career, he has been affiliated with the Nassau Yacht Club. Over the years he has traveled for training with international coaches, which has been critical to developing his skills. With the development in recent years of the Royal Nassau Sailing Club and the Lyford Cay Sailing Club, Weech has also benefited from joint local training clinics with international coaches as well as local coaches like Keir Clarke at the Lyford Cay Sailing Club.

The four-time national champion has participated in training clinics in preparation for major events in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Antigua & Barbuda and Uruguay. He has competed in eight countries other than The Bahamas, namely Canada, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, Uruguay and the United States of America.

Weech credits his enrollment at BNSS for his success and admits the school has played a major role in him learning and mastering the basics in sailing. With his natural ability, discipline and dedication to the sport, he is bound to represent The Bahamas well internationally and one day reach his ultimate goal of sailing in the Olympics.

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