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.
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.
2011 INTERNATIONAL OPTIMIST AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hosting Australia's largest Optimist regatta ever, Pittwater staged the Australian Nationals with 172 competitors from Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Japan and Germany in what was a very low scoring top five. NZ sailors included Wakatere's Tim Adair (5th place overall) and Leonard Takahashi (13th) and Worser Bay's William Novak (23rd).
After a lengthy registration and measurement process for every boat, we finally got onto the water to check out the course which lay a good 40 minute sail out behind Scotland Island. With a wide range of conditions this regatta suited the all-round sailors who could pick the fickle shifts and sail in very heavy, moderate and extremely light airs. Day one's drama unfolded in the first race when Tim finished in 2nd place only to discover he had been called OCS in what seemed a marginal call. Last year's winner Nia Jerwood emerged the early leader. Leonard finished the day in 10th place with fellow Kiwis, William scoring 2nd place in race 2 and Tim scoring a bullet (1st) in race 4.
Steadily building to a peak of 27 knots NNE on day 2, serious fitness was called for. The first critical drop came into play with Tim jumping to 5th place overall. Leonard sailed a great race 6 easily crossing the line 1st, only to discover he had been OCS causing him to slip back to 17th place.
Day 3 saw teams' racing in a fresh 15-20 knot north easterly, gusting to 25 knots.
The format saw eight teams sail off one another in double elimination series, where a team that loses two
races is eliminated. The teams were made up of a combination of Club, State and an International team comprising the New Zealanders (Tim , Leonard , William ) and a Japanese entrant (Ben Perkins). Team WA won all their four races taking 1st place, with the International team coming joint 3rd.
After a lay day for some serious R&R at the beach and Sydney's oldest fun park (Luna Park), day 4 revealed considerably less wind. In very fickle WNW wind of barely 2-5 knots, only one race was completed.
Race eight flight A saw Chris Charlwood from WA get his first win of the regatta to move him into 2nd place. Second place went to Tim Adair who showed great consistency. With one day left, only five points separated the top six places.
The final day revealed another frustrating day for the race committee with barely enough wind to race all day. The first and only race of the day got away in a dead northerly before shifting left. After a general recall, the Z flag was raised and Leonard won the start clearly at the pin end of the line playing the shifts, going left then right, then up the middle on the first beat to round the top mark in front. The wind shifted and then died out with the
thoughts of blowing the race going through the mind of the PRO. Leonard opted for a lane on the right hand side of the course on the run to the finish to hang in there to take the win in a very close finish over Tyrone Gowans.
West Australian Chris Charlwood (720) clinched a bullet in the 2nd flight to pull into a one point lead and thus win the championship over last year's champion Nia Jerwood. Tim Adair finished 5th overall, having led the final race until he rounded the bottom mark with a clear lead and then a massive 180 degree shift in 0-2 knots of breeze saw him move from 1st to 12 place and helpless to prevent it.
With only 9 races sailed out of an anticipated 12, the race committee ran out of time and options and the sailors for opportunities for a second drop. This event selected the Australian international teams for the top 22, including the top 5 to represent Australia at the 2011 Words in Napier. We expect to see a lot of interest in the NZ nationals at Wakatere.
The 2011 Starling Nationals were sailed at Napier Jan 5-8th and contested by 91 sailors.
Conditions were excellent with a good range of wind strength and without the large wind swings experienced at the North Islands. Qualifying races on days 1 and 2 were held in light 4-12 kn N-NE winds, while days 3 and 4 were generally around the 18-22kn range from the NW and then SE. Courses were set further north which reduced the impact of Bluff Hill and evened out the tide flow.
Jack and James during the finals
Ellie, Kelsey, Jack, Matthew and James represented the Wakatere Starling fleet and produced some great results. On day one Jack had a great start with a 1,2,2 and would have been leading if he hadn't been Z flagged in one race. Matthew was similarly penalized in the same race. Jack followed up his success of day 1 to post more great results on day 2 to be positioned about 7th after the end of the qualifying races. Jack, Matthew, Ellie and James all managed to qualify for the Gold Fleet.
Ellie between races
Conditions changed dramatically for the finals races and so did the results. With the stronger winds favouring the bigger sailors, Matthew and James progressed rapidly up the leader board while Jack and Ellie slipped back a few places. Matthew showed some impressive speed upwind in these conditions to round the top mark in the top five in just about every race, but lost a lot of ground downwind. James had a couple of great third placings, but lost the chance for another couple of other top 10 places with capsizes, as did Matthew. A lack of practice in the stronger condtions showed with most of the fleet having the odd swim. Although Jack's placings in the finals weren't as good as in the qualfiers he showed how determined he is and wasn't that far behind. It was a great effort given his lighter weight. Ellie also suffered from being a little light, but probably hadn't been sailing the Starling long enough to be able to get the extra performance.
Kelsey found the step up from Club racing to be quite a large one and struggled through the regatta. It was great to see her persevere especially with no other Wakatere club mates joining her in the Silver fleet.
In the end it was a great regatta and our guys all sailed well and learned heaps. Matthew and James both improved on last years results and are looking at moving on to Laser Radials. I'm sure Jack and Ellie will be keen to put what they learned into practice and try again at next years Nationals at Murrays Bay.
Gareth Moore, Matthew Kempkers and Mahia Pepper at the top mark in race 7
Final results saw Gareth Moore from Christchurch first with consistent results throughout to add to the Match Racing title he had just won, winning races in the light and strong winds. He showed great downwind speed to win one race by a mile. Mahia Pepper from Murrays Bay, came a close second and also won in both conditions, but just couldn't finish it off in the final race.
Matthew finished 8th, Jack 13th, James 14th, Ellie 25th and Kelsey 80th.
Most of the team enjoyed a middle eastern meal together before the contest. They were well supported on the water with the two centre consoles and Charlie in another RIB for those who wanted coaching. Thanks to the club for the use of these boats. Sadly the small RIB was stolen while on the marina one night, but a replacement was generously provided by NSC.
A great prizing giving meal was enjoyed at the end of the regatta along with a few spot prizes. It was good to see the contestants getting along and sharing stories of their race experiences. The post regatta party at the Mackays was supposedly worth attending as well - thanks Donn for being the caperone until 0230 !
Matthew and Jack sailed the New Years regatta which was excellent practice, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Jack wins 2010 Peter Blake Starlings
Congratulations to Jack for winning the Starling class at the 2010 Peter Blake Regatta, which was contested by 55 sailors. Other Wakatere placings included a great 3rd by James, Lucy was 34th and Kelsey 53rd.
Conditions were mostly very light, meaning a lot of waiting around for wind, especially on the Sunday and only 5 of the 6 scheduled races being completed.
Jacks placings were 1,(14),2,11,1, James 4,8,9,1,(17), Ellie 22,17,11,(26-ZFP),9, Lucy 48,(56-DNF),31,24,27 and Kelsey 51,(56-DNF),51,42,46
Photos for 2010 Optimist North Islands Taupo
Newly added photos from the 2010 North Island Championships at Taupo. Follow the link
Photos for 2011 Optimist North Islands Taupo
Hi all, some new photos now added to our photo gallery http://www.wakatere.org.nz/cms/index.php?option=com_wgpicasa&view=album&Itemid=139