by Richard Cave
Final day of the 2011 Toyota Optimist Nationals, Wakatere Boating Club
Interest is high for the newly created 2012 Auckland Optimist Winter Sprint Racing series. The series aims to deliver ‘on water time’ of 30-40 races over ten days. Having just completed a busy Summer Sailing season, expressions of interest and registration levels are high.
Optimist Sailors across NZ apparently fully recognise the need to prepare for the 2013 Timaru Optimist Nationals event in a different latitude NZ city. Many sailors recognise the need to prepare for the challenges following experiences of New Plymouth 2012 Nationals varying between 4 knots on flat water to 28 knots on 2.5m swells.
The Winter Sprint series has been designed to give those going overseas in travelling teams an opportunity to race train prior to departure, and also other sailors the opportunity to keep their hand in over Winter while pitching their skills against the best.
The series has been designed with specific needs in mind:
1. To provide opportunity and balance.
• The event scheduled every second Saturday to allow Winter Sport opportunities and life balance.
• A rotation experience to broaden sailor skills across different waters between Yacht Clubs Kohimamara, Wakatere and Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
2. Increasing on water time. Two to four quick sprints per day giving sailors opportunity to repeat value from the 75% of a race, being the Starts and First leg. Many Olympic sailors advise the key to success is on water time.
3. Minimal cost and maximum opportunity. Sailors can select only the Regatta days local to their Clubs or elect to commute to fresh waters, broaden the experience and complete the 10 day series giving 30-40 sprint races prior to Summer 2012/13.
4. It is expected Registration numbers will allow on water coaching and debriefing by some of NZ’s best coaches.
Timaru Nationals 2013 will offer a breadth of sailing conditions and any sailor wanting to arrive well prepared requires a broad preparation programme. The event aims to deliver this opportunity. The large contingent of sailors normally resident North of Taupo may travel two days to attend Timaru Nationals 2013.
Sailor Sponsors will want their sailors to be able to meet what Timaru conditions may provide and to be able to give it their best. Each and every sailor will want to manage the challenges to achieve their goal.
The Auckland based Sprint Series starts 5th May 2012 before the NZ travelling teams depart. The Regatta series starts initially at Kohimamara before the rotation schedule between the clubs begins. NoR and SI’s are posted. The event targeted for Optimists can cater for other dinghy classes.