2013 Optimist Worlds practice race and opening ceremony where the Hong Kong team arrived six days early to prepare for the Worlds at Lake Garda, Italy.
HK Optimist Team 2013 Worlds - 2013 IODA Worlds
Getting over jet lag was one thing but experiencing the famous winds on Lake was the main task at hand. With the pre-Worlds regatta the team was able to race in a big fleet (over 120 boats on the line) but unfortunately there was little respect in the fleet for the start signal and so this made for unrealistic starts with most of the fleet being OCS. However, the tactics very quickly became clear and with the Ora afternoon wind blowing strongly the sailors became used to the conditions.
SANY0099 - 2013 IODA Worlds
Today was the practice race where again the fleet was well over the line at the starting signal and very few of the boats sailed the full course. It was gusting 20kts so the sailors could be forgiven for wanting to conserve their energy and sails for the main event but the same would have happened in 10kts, it is just how the practice race usually pans out these days! Still, our sailors managed to get what they wanted from the race so they came off the water confident.
Once ashore the team changed into their team shirts and got the flags ready for the all important opening ceremony. With 60 nations and over 250 sailors competing it was a long line of participants that snaked its way around Riva Town on the parade to the official opening arena. At an event like this there are always so many people involved and you can expect a number of speeches. All credit to the organisers it was kept short and sweet and before we knew it we were on our way to dinner.
Racing starts tomorrow. The first three days will be fleet racing followed by two team racing days, a rest day and finally another three days of fleet racing. All the sailors have been waiting a long time for this day!