Monday 4 July – First Days Racing:
NZ Optimist team at the Europeans - Lola, Zak, Cole and Nick – before start of parade
The regatta officially got underway last night with the opening ceremony being held in central Tavira. The ceremony started with a parade of all the countries alongside the River Galio and across a 500 year old roman bridge into the central square of Tavira. The New Zealand team distinguished themselves by the boys doing a haka on stage as the team was introduced to the crowd. It went down well with the Portuguese crowds who recognised the haka as soon as they started.
Today was the first days racing and the day dawned cooler and overcast and a light offshore breeze.
As predicted, the breeze swung into the south west and began to pick up and by race start time of 2.00 pm was a consistent 12 - 13 knots gusting to 15. Looking good for the Kiwis!
Lola had a great start to her international sailing career with 2 very solid placings despite less than stellar starts. She worked hard to get a fifth and 14th placing to leave her placed 12th overall in the fleet of 95 girls.
Zak has had a tough day having had a good first race placing of 21st but lost his mainsheet clip just seconds before the start of the second race which left him one of the last boats off the line. He worked hard to salvage a 38th leaving him placed 55th overall.
Nick struggled to get off the line in good shape in both races and had a couple of tough first beats as a result. He showed good pace on the reach and run to lift himself to 28th in the first race and 31st in the second race leaving him 56th overall.
Cole had a good first race with a solid 30th but had a tough last race to lie 90th overall out of the total fleet of 130.
Overall the team is in good spirits and enjoying meeting the other sailors. The swapping of shirts/caps and lifejackets has already started with deals being done now - to be transacted at the conclusion of the regatta.
All sailors feel that they can improve significantly on their first days results and are
looking forward to the second days racing.
The european fleet is this year using a GPS tracker system, with a GPS unit mounted on each boat, to provide real time tracking of each fleet and each boat. The race tracker system is available through the IODA website (www.ioda.org) and is a great way to follow the racing. Each race can be viewed live and replayed after the finish time. Disregard todays results on the tracker system though as a large % of the units weren’t turned on and it seems that some may have been mixed up as well so there are some funny results.
We’re sure that the system will be up and running reliably tomorrow so tune in for a look!
Sorry no on the water pictures as parents not yet able to get on the water but will hopefully have some soon.
Lola, Zak, Cole and Nick.