This week finds us all in the middle of the busiest period of Opti sailing for the year with multiple regattas being attended by Wakatere sailors in NZ and abroad. This update is a bit longer than usual but there is a lot of information I need you to be aware of, some fantastic results by Wakatere sailors and a call to action for as many volunteers as possible over the next couple of months.
North Islands and NZ Ranking
The most important of the recent regattas was for our Open sailors who attended the NI's in Taupo over three days, because it was also a NZ ranking regatta. The whole squad performed really well in some testing condition and the three day format is a great test of a sailor’s fitness and stamina.
For those that don't understand the ranking system, a series of four regattas make up the NZ Opti Ranking and it’s the goal of nearly every Open fleet sailor to improve their ranking through the year and season on season. The regattas are the Opti North Island Champs, the Auckland Champs (at Wakatere in Jan); the Interislander (Picton) and the Opti Nationals (Timaru this year). The reward for top placing is selection into the squads that attend overseas regattas such as the Worlds (Italy next year), Europeans ( Hungary) Asian Champs ( Japan) and the Nth American Champs ( Bermuda).
The regattas are challenging events for any Optimist sailor with four races a day on full length courses that run in nearly all conditions and Taupo was no different. The first day was relatively light with wind between 8 and 12 knots and very shifty as always. Saturday and Sunday turned cold with strong cold SW winds and rain whipping up short seas and providing a real test of skill. We also had Green feet racing on Saturday and Sunday and Rachel Willison and Lewis Dol should be congratulated for getting out there and giving it a go. We look forward to seeing both of you progress in Green fleet this year.
On all three days we saw our Wakatere sailors perform to the highest level with nearly everyone achieving personal milestones of some sort. Day 1 was all about Greta Stewart and Jono Weston and their top 5 placing in multiple races. This year a system was introduced where the top 5 sailors received a bib with their regatta placing on it, similar to the Olympics. The whole team was hugely proud to see Jono W achieve the 5th place bib after day one. Sadly Harry Milne and Josh Bull were sick for Day 1 with Josh never really recovering all weekend.
As the wind increased so did the influence of experience in the fleet and some of our more seasoned sailors started to make more progress to the front with top 20 results from Xanthe Copeland, Kate Stewart and Harry Milne (who battled sickness all weekend and still placed some fantastic results) Henry Haslett (1st in race 4) and Airi Kawana including a 3rd race placing from Xanthe. However Jono W was in the ‘zone’ all weekend and finished in a superb final 5th place overall, an improvement of 70 places from this same regatta last year ! (and he now holds that bib until January at Wakatere) from Mr. Consistent Airi in 13th, Henry in 23rd, followed by Kate, Greta and Xanthe in 26th, 29th and 33rd. However the whole squad should be congratulated for some superb efforts in one of toughest regattas of the year and remember… the next one is on our home turf!
Open fleet results at http://ltyc.org.nz/results/2012%20NI%20Opti%20Champs%20Open%20FINAL.html
Green fleet results at http://ltyc.org.nz/results/NIOPTIgreen.htm
See loads of photos at http://www.facebook.com/NZIODA
Jono in action at Taupo
Year 7 & 8 Regatta last week
This schools team event held annually at Kohimarama is great fun and a fantastic opportunity to represent your school in sailing. Once again our sailors showed their class to place 1st (Greta), 2nd (Xanthe) and 3rd (Henry) overall in a fleet of 59. Our local school, Belmont Intermediate took the Schools Trophy for the first time ever, with a Team of Jono Nicholas, James Grover Grey ( out of retirement), Harry Milne, Jono Weston and Finn Buckeridge. Well done to all those who took part and wasn't the warm weather a pleasant change from the cold of Taupo!
Results at http://www.kyc.org.nz/admin/user_content/files/Intermediate%20Schoold%20Regatta%202012_5118.htm
Photos of this day at http://www.facebook.com/NZIODA
Sir Peter Blake Regatta
The next important regatta on the calendar is this weekend. SPB is a huge event for centreboard sailing in the Auckland region and is thought to be one of the largest regattas in the southern hemisphere with likely attendee numbers at over 450. Due to this we need to make sure our logistics and planning are in well in order so everyone sailing can perform to their best. I was questioned a number of times over the weekend about who should be attending this regatta, and while this is obviously a decision for each parent and sailor I thought I would offer the advice I gave to so many yesterday-
Regattas are a huge amount of fun and an important step for the development of any Optimist sailor. My expectation is that every Open fleet sailor and every member of the Race group who is available should be attending SPB. For other Green fleet or Sunday Morning sailors, if you have competed in at least one Sunday afternoon Green fleet race at Wakatere then you will be fine at SPB. If you haven't, then target the Wakatere Junior Regatta on December the 15th as your first regatta instead. (Reminder – there will be no Race group coaching at the club this Sunday 2nd Dec, only C1 and C2 groups)
The trailer and the 2 X WBC tiller steer RIBs for Green fleet support, safety and coaching will be available for transit from Thursday evening however we need people to volunteer for the following this weekend:
- Assistance with loading of Optimists onto club trailer on Thursday evening 5pm
- Assistance with loading of club RIBs onto trailers for transport to Torbay SC
- Friday evening towing of the Opti Trailer to Torbay SC
- RIB trailer transport - does anyone have a trailer capable of a taking a tiller steer please step forward, especially someone from Green fleet?
- Parents afloat - 2 X WBC Green fleet parents per RIB for Saturday and Sunday during racing. Skippers need to have completed our RIB safety course.
- Assistance with loading Opti Trailer on Sunday afternoon and return to Wakatere
- Assistance with loading Green fleet RIBs onto trailer for return journey and unloading at Wakatere.
The Optimist trailer is available and a place can be booked on the WBC website with priority given to Green fleet sailors. If using the trailer please ensure you have your own tie down straps and any additional padding you require. The trailer will be in the club compound and will be available for loading from Thursday evening from 5pm.
Opti trailer booking- Sir Peter Blake Any Open fleet sailors who need assistance to attend the regatta please contact me separately.
We will have a Wakatere Base Camp at the regatta which will be a blue nylon dome shaped gazebo with a Wakatere banner outside with space for storing sailing gear and getting some shade from the elements. This will be on the grass to the left of the club when looking at the beach.
We will run a Wakatere race briefing here for all sailors with head coach Finn Drummond.
8:45 on Saturday
9:30 on Sunday
There will be a separate Green fleet briefing straight afterwards.
We also strongly recommend people make the effort to get the boat to Torbay on Friday evening, register and get your race pack. Also make sure your turn up early on Saturday morning as parking can be difficult and you don't want to be late on the water. See the event layout before you get there
Peter Blake Regatta official website
Any other questions or issues with attending the regatta please get in contact early this week.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Since you have been involved in sailing Optimists at Wakatere you will have heard everyone from the club constantly remind you of the requirement to volunteer and join in and we all appreciate everyone efforts to date. However with our ‘away regatta program’ plus the Wakatere Junior Regatta and the Opti Auckland Champs (NZ Ranking Regatta) we will need more help than ever.
Over the next few days I will be sending follow up emails requesting people join teams for on-the-water activities and off-the-water activities for both of those key WBC events- Wakatere Junior Regatta Dec 15
Opti Auckland Champs Jan 26 -28
Please be ready to share some time to make sure our club maintains the high standard of event management set by our predecessors.
And finally best of luck to Jono Weston, Jono Nicholas, Xanthe Copeland and others attending the regatta in Noumea next week as part of the development squad. Don't come back too sunburnt!