International Optimist Australian Championships is currently being hosted by Sandy Bay Sailing Club in Hobart, Tasmania. The International Optimist dinghy is the world’s largest sailing dinghy for kids to learn and enjoy sailing and, in particular, start racing at an early age.
Tasmanian contender for Optimist national title, Hugo Hickling - International Optimist Australian Championships 2013
Anyone looking out or on Hobart’s River Derwent yesterday could see why, with a massive fleet of these tiny sailboats contesting the Optimist Australian championships.
And that included the passengers and crew of a cruise liner that sailed up the river in mid-afternoon, her captain showing great care to avoid the Optimists and other dinghy classes racing on the Derwent.
It was a good day for Sandy Bay Sailing Club race officers as they managed to complete three more races for the Open fleet, bringing the total to six, and the first four for the Green fleet.
For the young sailors from throughout Australia as well as from Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States of America, it was a long day on the water with the results widely spread.
In the Open fleet, some of the overseas visitors are sailing well, with Nick Egnot-Johnston from New Zealand’s Murray Bay Yacht Club again winning two races out of three races today to lead the regatta.
Second overall is a West Australian lass, Annabelle Davies fro South of Perth Yacht Club, who today had a 1-2-3 following her win and two seconds yesterday.
In third place overall is Victorian James Grogan from Black Rock Yacht Club who today had a 2-4-3 score.
Fourth overall is Cameron Wise from the USA and close behind him on the score board is Queenslander Max Quirk.
Best placed Tasmanian is Sam King from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania who won the third race for his fleet, with the Open fleet divided into two sailing groups.
Sam, who last weekend finished third in the Sabot nationals in Melbourne is seventh overall after six races and has a good chance of making the Australian team to contest the Optimist world championships later in the year.
New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and West Australians sailors fill most of the top 30 positions in the Open fleet,
George Booth from Tamar Yacht Club is 32nd overall, Hugo Hamilton from Sandy Bay Sailing Club 33rd, Chloe Fisher from the Tamar Yacht Club 34th after a good seventh place in race sixth, while Hugo Hickling 36th.
Tasmanians are doing better in the Green fleet for beginners in the Optimist class, with Alice Buchanan leading the regatta from fellow Sandy Bay Sailing Club member William Cooper.
Seven Tasmanians are in the top ten of the Green fleet, with Alice and William being followed by Daniel Ragg from Kingston Beach Sailing Club, Ethan Galbraith and Callum Ingram from Sandy Bay Sailing Club, Ruby Lowe from the Tamar Yacht Club and another Sandy Bay sailor, Thomas Wilkins.
Racing in the Optimists continues through to Sunday.
The square rigger Lady Nelson provides a backdrop to Optimists on the River Derwent - International Optimist Australian Championships 2013