It was a brilliant sight to see 177 Optimists at Wakatere on Saturday morning for the Pre Nats. The place was buzzing with action, excitement and enthusiasm from the sailors. Equally thrilling was the fact that 57 of them came from Wakatere! Well done to so many sailors who have been gaining skills over summer, whether it be on Sunday AM, Open and Express groups and Sunday club racing, and have made the choice to have a go at some regattas.
This event was a chance to test a range of the systems we will need to have operational for the Nationals, so thanks to the volunteers who did such an awesome Job, from the Early bird crew launching boats into the water from 7am, to the Tractor drivers, Race Management crews, Beach crews, Kitchen Crew and Results team. Thanks especially to Kevin Whitehead and Dean Coleman for pulling it all together. These events rely solely on volunteer effort, and it was great to have so many reliable volunteers making it all happen. We still have some things to work on for the Nationals, and will need an even bigger volunteer committment to run it, but we are on track.
This event represents different things for different sailors – for some, it’s a chance to fine tune their skills and long standing experience in an attempt to perhaps make the team for the 2011 Opti Worlds in New Zealand later in the year in Napier, for others its about improving their performance from the last regatta, and for many its an opportunity to make some new friends, learn some new skills and build their confidence.
Saturday was blustery and choppy and so it was superb to so many Green fleeters “giving it a go”. A number of sailors who are new to regattas did incredibly well to sail all of the races on Saturday. The Open fleet were pretty well off Takapuna, and virtually all Wakatere sailors completed all of the races in challenging conditions.
Sunday was very calm, which combined with the tide, made it impossible to get the Open fleet racing away, but the Green fleet fired away three short races.
Right at the top of the results, were Leonard Takahasi Fry in 4th and Markus Somerville in 6th in the Open fleet, with Jonathon Barnett winning the green fleet, followed by James Grover Grey in 2nd and Joe Pearson in 3rd.
Then there were a bunch of “personal bests”
Sam Wallis 10th – Open ( 126 boats)
Chris Coleman 24th – Open
Sebastian Jones 47th – Open
Kate Stewart 56th – Open
Harry Milne 66th – Open
Chamonix Stewart 6th – Green ( 51 boats)
Jessica Berry 13th – Green – Finishing all races!
Yuka Isozaki 21st – Green – Finishing all races!
Alp Semiz 23rd Green – Finishing all races!
Hannah Smith 24th – Green – Finishing all races!
Mathew Jacobi 27th – winning the last race
Donald Mayo 30th – 5th in the last race
Emily Dol – finishing all races
Grierson Fox – first regatta, started all races, finished all but one, ending up 39th.
Full results at http://www.wakatere.org.nz/results.html
It was great to have the 420’s present to give a preview to the sailors ( and parents) about life after Optis. Some of the Opti sailors got out on Sunday after sailing and experienced a moderate breeze and even hoisted spinnakers, which was very exciting for them. James Munro reminded me that Alex started sailing a 420 at age 13 and 52 kg. ..
Well done to all on some great results and an excellent event.