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2013 Opti North Islands

The 2013 Opti North islands were held at New Plymouth on November 15-17. It is the first of the 2013/2014 NZIODA ranking regattas to select sailors for the 2014 Overseas regattas.

New Plymouth is an exposed venue so we were fortunate to have light conditions for the weekend. There were more than 100 sailors in the Open fleet, so the fleet was split into two flights and then into Gold and Silver in the last day. Reflecting the venue, there were 34 boats in the Green fleet.

We had 16 sailors attending from WBC, all sailing in the Open fleet, with plenty of support from parents and coaches, led by Rob Hielkema.

The regatta was won by Scott McKenzie from Kohi who showed real skill to retain his consistency in what were challenging conditions.

It is clear that the Australian sailors are improving each year as they took second and third places. Top WBC sailor was Jordan Stevenson in 6th, with a large cluster of WBC sailors  finishing in and around the 20's.

Rob did a great job helping to lift the skills of the newer open fleet sailors, especially Victor Allen and Patrick Calver who moved up the fleet quickly.

 

Results at http://www.sportsground.co.nz/files/site/553/3/Pdf/131117173007SRXDHLFN.pdf

 

 

2013 Stack Winter Champs

The Annual Stack winter champs, held at Murrays Bay during the October school holidays is a regatta not to be missed by our Opti sailors. There is a three day coaching clinic held before the event, at which our sailors are exposed to some of the best coaches in NZ and many other Opti sailors from around the country.

The conditions were light for the regatta, with Robbie McCutcheon and Greta Stewart showing great speed and good decision making throughout the weekend ending up in 2nd and 4th respectively. Ben Beasley showed how much progress can be made by sailing all winter finishing a credible 11th, whilst Jono Weston showed his experience to come in 6th. It was great to see new faces Luke Tomlison coming to Open fleet regattas, whilst Lachie Stewart and Lillie Brewer sailed in what was a small green fleet.

Thanks to Rob Hielkema for running a fun coaching program for the weekend!

Results at http://www.murraysbay.org/upload/usermedia/files/47784/2013%20winchamps%20opti%20open%20final.pdf

Green fleet at http://www.murraysbay.org/upload/usermedia/files/47784/2013%20winchamps%20opti%20green%20final.pdf

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2013 Ice Breaker Regatta

The Ice Breaker is the first regatta of the summer season and the last of the Winter sprint series. It is held each year at Lake Pupuke and hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club. This year WBC was well represented, with Jono Weston coming third and with Jordan Stevenson and Xanthe Copeland both in the top 10 in the fleet of 31. Robbie McCutcheon and Ben Beasley made good progress up the Open fleet ranks, whilst Lachie  Stewart sailed in the Green fleet.

Full results are at:

http://www.murraysbay.org/upload/usermedia/files/47784/icebreaker%20-%20optiopen%202013b.pdf

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Greta Kate and Victor become superstars in SFO!

Whilst the rest of us are trying to keep warm and dry in winter, Kate and Greta Stewart and Victor Allen are making the most of their time in San Francisco with dad's Ian and Joey with ETNZ. They just sailed in a BIC fun regatta and were caught after racing by the TV cameras - take a look by going to www.youtube.com and seaching for AC Youth kids

2013 Opti Nats Timaru

Optimist Nationals – Timaru

A truly eventful and dramatic end to the Nationals in Timaru this weekend has seen our own Henry Haslett bring home the National title to Wakatere and his other home club Glendowie.  If you followed the race reports over the weekend you’ll know that Henry and the rest of the sailors attending had to negotiate some of the most difficult conditions for years to claim the title.

 

Henry Haslett with the 2013 Toyota Optimist National Champs trophy

The forecast for the week was looking light even before anyone travelled to Timaru and that really came through with only two races completed after two days however Jordan Stevenson was well placed in 3rd.

Fortunately Day 3 provided a more solid breeze and by the end of Day 3 a total of six races had been completed. By then it was clear that Henry was coping well with the local conditions as he had finished every race inside the top 10, something no one else in the fleet had managed to achieve. This was due to be the point in the regatta that the fleet was split into Gold and Silver to allow the top placed sailors to race each other for the title however another day of racing was required before finals series commenced.  Wakatere sailors were well placed at the start of the final day with Henry and Jordan in contention for a top place.  But Henry seemed to handle the pressure the best with a 2nd in the first race of the final day effectively locking up the top spot as his normally favoured opponents from around the country began to falter in the extremely competitive Gold fleet which included 16 Australians. Henry has improved all season with top 10 results in the last two ranking regattas, but to move up from 45th placing at last year’s Nationals and to come away with a win, the first for Wakatere since Logan Dunning Beck in 2007, is just brilliant.

In the Silver fleet Greta Stewart managed to salvage some pride by taking out that title and in the Green Fleet our only competitor her brother Lachlan had a great time in his first event.

Greta

Greta Stewart 1st place in the Open Silver fleet

Full results can be found in the middle of the main news page at Timaru Yacht & Powerboat Club

Optimist National Team Selection

The Nationals are the final and the most important event in the annual Opti ranking series to enable sailors to qualify for a NZ team to travel to an overseas event and Wakatere sailors managed to claim more places in these teams than any club in New Zealand.  The following sailors made teams for these events:

· Worlds Team, Luke Garda, Italy - Henry Haslett

· North Americans, Bermuda - Jordan Stevenson

· Europeans in Hungary - Jono Weston and Kate Stewart

· Asians Champs in Japan - Xanthe Copeland and Airi Kawana

Well done to everyone who made the effort to travel such a long way for such a difficult regatta, especially those who excelled to make a team for an overseas regatta.  But again a huge congratulation to Henry and his family for a successful culmination to a massive effort this year.  Every Wakatere member is suitably proud of your efforts.

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Classes sailed at Wakatere

  • JUNIOR: Optimist, P Class, RS Feva
  • YOUTH: Starling, 29er, 420, Boards, 
  • RS Feva, Laser Radial
  • SENIOR: Laser, OK Dinghy, Sunburst,
  • Windsurfing, 470, 49er, 3.7, Idle Along, 
  • RS Feva, Zephyr