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Life after Opti Nats

Yes, it is possible! There is life after the 2011 Opti NatsSmile

The Opti calendar on the left side of this page has been updated to include the sailing taking place at Lake Pupuke on Sundays as well as the Kohimarama winter regatta.

Andrew Brown is coordinating morning coaching sessions on some Sundays at Lake Pupuke prior to the 1:30pm races.

We have arranged several Opti Open fleet winter clinics at Wakatere, Kohimarama and Murrays Bay which will have a small coaching element followed by several hours of sprint races. These are planned for Saturday PM's so that sailors can fit in Saturday morning winter sports if need be. These will also be followed by some Sunday races from 10am. Take a look at the calendar for details. We will need parental support to run these sessions so bring some gear along.

Shortly we will confirm the dates of some Saturday fun races to be run in August and September at Wakatere.

 

Sam Barnett has posted this report of the sailing at the lake so far:

Every Sunday at Lake Pupuke starting at 1:30 Pm there is racing for Optimists as part of the Lake Pupuke’s winter racing series. There is usually a fleet of 5-15 mixed open/green sailors, with many sailors who were Green at the nationals using it as an effective way to transition to open fleet. The lake is very shifty with land on all sides making the wind do all sorts of things. This is good practice for getting the shifts right in regattas because the changes are so severe that you have to learn fast. This weekend saw plenty of wind some gusts of around 30 knots and some very quick downwinds were enjoyed! This was in contrast to the previous weekend that had challenging light conditions where every small gust was critical. Lots of top sailors from all around Auckland use the lake for winter training. Last Sunday saw the Lake being used for training for one of the NZ teams in the morning, making for very competitive racing in the afternoon. Racing in competitive fleets is the way to improve. And lastly it’s lots of fun, with a great atmosphere and lots of friendly competition.

Ps. Flat water is a great place to perfect your roll tacks, especially in the light.

We hope to see you all there when you are free.

2011 Toyota Opti Nationals

Wow, what a Nationals. 309 entries. 203 in Open fleet across 3 flights, 106 in Green fleet. Wakatere had a record 26 sailors in the Open fleet and 29 in the Green fleet.Smile

After a slow start on day one, with the benefit of some perfect sailing breezes and a slick race committee with onboard local knowledge, 14 races were completed, which represented 42 open fleet starts ( ignoring any recalls).

Wakatere had some outstanding results from Markus Somerville ( 3rd) - off to represent NZ at the first Opti Worlds ever held in New Zealand in Napier late this year (http://www.optiworldsnz.org.nz/ ) , Tim Adair in 7th, Sam Barnett in 17th ( up from 115th last year).

Aidan Nicholas won the award for the highest placed rookie in his first Nationals with a 42nd.

Jonathon Weston secured 1st 11 year old with a 72nd.

Rory McCutcheon earned the Sportsmanship Trophy.

But it doesn't end there...Max Hayman showed his natural talent by coming out of "retirement" to secure a 44th! Airi Kawana ended up 89th in his first nationals, Levi de Lisle moved out of Green fleet at Christmas and storms up to 120th after three months of concentrated effort. Kate Stewart jumps up to 114th, Dan Finnemore finds a new "gear" in the last few races ( and possibly takes his feet off the gunwhale), whilst Marco Tyler-Rodrigue made a suprise last minute appearance.

Yes, Charlie Baillie Strong was proud of the effort put in by the sailors.

In the Green fleet it was three in the top 10 - James Grover Grey sailed a steady series to finish in 3rd, Jessica Berry used her base from Sunday morning sailing to propel herself to a 6th, whilst Jonathan Nicholas sailed a steady series to end up 8th. There was another three Wakatere sailors in the next 10, with Joe Pearson in 11th, Chamonix Stuart sailed an excellent series winding up 13th and Nelson Greenwood showed a spectacular rise up the fleet from completing his learn to sail last October to finish in 15th.

There were a range of steady performances from the Wakatere sailors showing the benefit of lots of time on the water during summer. Others seemed to extend their capabilities as the regatta continued.

All the meticulous planning worked out well; the 620 volunteer slots were filled and the whole thing worked like clockwork from the refuel crew at Bayswater to the Impressive rig tents, the massive Marquee, the bar crew, the superb Cafe, the spectactular video feed from the start tower to the massive TV screen in the Marquee, the impressive daily video from the Argentinian filmman, to the spot prizes, the Rock radio station, the wing masted Opti, Cool regatta tshirts, Easter Eggs, Anzac breakfast at the Devonport yacht club, Water taxis to the suppport boats, to Dean Barker presenting prizes.

 

So its been a heck of a lot of fun over summer, and now everyone is taking a well deserved break....well thats apart from the sailors who have earned slots in the teams travelling away - Markus going to the Worlds, and Sam Barnett going to the Asian Champs - well done and good sailing!

Auckland Girls Champs, Kohimarama, Sat 2 April

This was a fantastic regatta pitched at having a day with a twist that meant the “girls had fun”.  The day dawned clear and with no wind – a mutter briefly went through the assembled girls as they checked through their race pack (lippy, t-shirt, ley and other assorted items) – total of 39 sailors – but then they knew this presented an opportunity to “hangout” on the beach plus some fine tuning of their rigs.  As the wind was taking some time to build the organisers arranged for some time on a biscuit behind the patrol boats (a highlight for some of the sailors) before the call was made to sail.

 

Wakatere had 8 sailors in the opti fleets – 6 in the open and 2 in the green fleet.  There was no doubt that our club was the dominant non Kohi contingent.  The Kohi sailors showed that in the light and fickle winds local knowledge is important and they dominated the top positions in the open fleet.  Coral Headey was the first Wakatere sailor home with a commendable 4th.  Emily Koya, Celia Willison, Xanthe Copeland, Marsanne Jordan and Olivia Koller all sailed well in the Open fleet and showed that a good start, clear air, maximising boat speed were crucial in these conditions.

 

A rewarding aspect of the regatta was having the green and open fleet start together and share the first three legs of the course.  This allowed the top green fleet sailors to appreciate that they were sailing as well as many of the open fleet – we all look forward to more green fleet sailors graduating to the open fleet ranks.  Wakatere sailors were very competitive in the green fleet with Chamonix Stewart finishing second overall (very consistent results) and Emily Dol sailing a dominant second race to take it out for her first race win.

 

An envy of any other regatta would be the high number of prizes awarded at this regatta.  Every sailor received a spot prize and the ultimate prize was a laptop – this must rate the regatta with the best prizes.

 

Based on the smiles we can only conclude that all the “girls had fun”

Full results at http://www.kyc.org.nz/index.php?displaytype=catalogue-results&menu_id=25&rootid=4&n_subtitle=Results

Oki 6 hour Opti race Sat 2 April

This was the third Oki Opti 6 hour race at Lake Pupuke, which coincides with the 24 hour race held in the Laser class.

It was Open to Open and Green fleet Opti sailors. There were two sailors in each team, with three allowed in the Green fleet teams.

The 43 blurry eyed sailors (and their blurry eyed parents) rolled up to the Lake in the dark at 0630 for a 0700 briefing. Its was a low key and unique experience, and the first time our guys had used headlamps to rig their boats!

The light arrived just before the le mans starts at 0730 with the sailors running down the grass and into their boats, which were held in the water by their team members.

It was very light at the start of the race, however there was some light breeze for most of the race to keep the boats moving along. Our sailors commented how good it was to be able to practice in the light airs without the tide affecting the course. They also commented about how much they learnt from being on the shore watching (and critiquing) their team mates sailing.

The sailors completed around 6-7 laps, and changed skippers after each lap. Some of the changeovers were entertaining to say the least!

In the end James Jennings and Jeremy Mitchell from Murrays Bay won. Sam Barnett and Aidan Nicholas sailed a good race and squeezed into 3rd in the last leg of the last lap with some clever sailing in the puffs ands shifts from Sam.

James Grover Grey sailed with Joshua Bull from Manly and won the Green fleet and came in 11th, whilst Jonathan Nicholas and Mathew Jacobi came 2nd in the green and 17th overall.

Overall a  fun event with some excellent results too! Full results at http://www.murraysbay.org/regattas/10-11/2011/04-02-2011%20MBSC%20OKI%2024%20Hour/OKI%20Opti%20Final%20Results.pdf

2011 Pre Nationals and Progress

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.

 

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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