Please select your home edition
Edition
Absolute Marine

50th Optimist World Championships kicks off in Caribbean

by John Adair on 19 Jul 2012
William raises the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony - Optimist World Championships John Adair

Boca Chica, Dominican Republic plays host to the 50th anniversary of the Optimist World Championships where the top 240 sailors from 52 countries compete in the largest fleet race in the world.

On Monday evening (16th July) the sailors and coaches gathered for the opening ceremony where each country paraded into the arena displaying national emblems and team colours, led by the Dominican Republic Navy band. Short speeches from illustrious figures in the local and sailing world were followed by colourful and typically exuberant Latin dancers to kick off this regatta which spans six days of fleet racing with twelve races and controversially this year, only a single drop. Two days of teams racing will punctuate the fleet racing on Saturday-Sunday 21st-22nd July.

Initially all sailors were arbitrarily split into four flights (Yellow, Red, Green, Blue) of sixty sailors with each flight racing alone rather than against another flight, again a departure from the typical format.

Following their success at the recent New Zealand Nationals, five sailors have been selected by NZIODA to represent New Zealand at the Optimist World Championships: Leonard Takahashi-Fry, Tim Adair, Isaac McHardie, William McKenzie and Cameron Moss.

On the first day’s racing, the wind settled into a consistent south-easterly onshore breeze of about 8-10 knots, with lots of chop and swell. In the first flight race 1, the main bunch was drawn well over the line with at least thirty seconds until the start signal, consequently the majority of the fleet were over at the start but surprisingly there was no general recall. The results later revealed only a couple of OCS so it seems many were lucky not to be identified and ruin their card. This was punishing for the lone Kiwi sailor who did return to re-start the race.

William McKenzie was the New Zealand highlight of the first day with a second placing in his first race, finishing in 19th place after two races. Singapore leads the regatta with sailors in first and second place, followed by Netherlands in third.

Day 2 promised 5-8 knots of wind which failed to deliver. An earlier than expected tropical storm swept through just before Race 3 was due to start, bringing thunder, lightening and torrential rain. After many hours on the water the race committee decided to cancel racing for the day.

Day 3 of racing continues tomorrow.

John Adair protects his camera gear at the OptiWorlds with Lowepro from TA Macalister


Race reports from the NZ Optimist Association website:

It’s hot and humid in the Dominican Republic and Day 2 of the Championship is over. Hopefully they will all be tucked up in bed having a good rest for tomorrows racing! If you are mad keen to watch the racing live, tune into the tracking from 4.30am ….that’s 12.30pm the day before in Dom Rep! They are 16 hours behind NZ.

Only two races have taken place on the first day and no races on the second day….bizarre weather! On the second day they were out on the water and a storm came in. As they are an hour from the shore there is not much they can do, however it blew over quickly and then the wind died completely.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Race 1 – Leonard Takahashi-Fry and Tim Adair were in the same flight….Race1, Flight 1 – This proved to be a difficult race for both sailors. At least half the fleet started over the line with no recall. Tim decided to go back just in case he was over and therefore his finishing position would be adjusted once they took into account all the osc’s. Unfortunately for Tim no-one was penalized. Tim 44th, Leonard 29th.

Race 1 - Cameron Moss 35th, William Mckenzie 2nd, Isaac McHardie 27th. They were all in separate flights.

Race 2 – Leonard 8th, Tim 13th, Cameron 30th, William 15th, Isaac 3rd. They all remained in the same flights for Day 1.


William McKenzie is best placed Kiwi after two races - 19th overall.

The opening ceremony was enjoyed by everyone and the Kiwis held their flag up proudly but it was marred at the end when 400 sailors and parents were all leaving at once to get on the buses back to the hotel. An Aussie dad and sailor and 3 Brazilian sailors decided to walk back along the beach instead of waiting for another bus. They were mugged at gunpoint and their laptop, phones and sailing gear were all taken! This was shocking and the officials were very sad that this happened.

Once everyone is at the sailing club or the hotel complex, it is safe, fun and socializing with other teams and swimming in the pool keeps them all entertained.

Let’s hope Day 3 produces some results!

The Water Shed - 3Wildwind 2016 660x82Festival of Sails 2017 660x82

Related Articles

RNZYS Youth Programme foilers spread their wings on the Waitemata
Sail-World caught up with the foiling programme, and ran into Emirates Team New Zealand returning from a test sail Last August, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced what is believed to be a world first for a Yacht Club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron with the inclusion of a foiling component to its Performance Programme. Today, Sail-World caught up with the foiling programme, and ran into Emirates Team New Zealand returning from a test sail on the Hauraki Gulf.
Posted on 6 Dec
Sir Peter Blake Regatta - Sean Herbert wins Overall Trophy + Video
Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta has wrapped up for another year, finishing off with an outstanding day The annual Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta has wrapped up for another year, finishing off with an outstanding day on the water. Torbay Sailing Club put on a great show for visiting sailors who travelled from Samoa, Australia, Singapore and across New Zealand to attend the annual event. Over 450 boats entered the regatta with racing taking place across three courses.
Posted on 4 Dec
Etchells Invitation pulls big fleet and top sailors for tight racing
On Tuesday evening, 16 Etchells and more than 50 sailors took to the Waitemata On Tuesday evening, 16 Etchells and more than 50 sailors took to the Waitemata in proving conditions for the annual Etchells Invitational, before returning to the dock for some post-match analysis and some well-earned beers. With around 15 knots of breeze against tide, the pre-race warm-up was a little lumpy and the spanners were out on most boats for some last-minute re-tuning, before the sla
Posted on 3 Dec
Sir Peter Blake Regatta - Light airs for Day 1 at Torbay
The annual Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta got off to a slow start this morning with fleets forced to stay ashore The annual Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta got off to a slow start this morning with fleets forced to stay ashore as they waited for the sea breeze to kick in. It was a perfect summers day at Torbay Sailing Club on Auckland's East Coast Bays.
Posted on 3 Dec
Images from Tuesday's Etchells Invitational Series
Images from last night's Etchells Invitational Series staged by the Auckland Etchells fleet. Images from last night's Etchells Invitational Series staged by the Auckland Etchells fleet. The event was well attended by 14 boats sailing three and four-up in a 12-15kt breeze on the inner Waitemata Harbour
Posted on 30 Nov
Sydney supermaxi sets monohull record in White Island Race
The Sydney based supermaxi CQS has set a new record for monohulls in the 320nm White Island Race. The Sydney based supermaxi CQS has set a new record for monohulls, but missed the allcomers record by less than an hour, in the 320nm White Island Race. After the race start just after 10.00am on Friday, CQS reported she was about to round White Island around 6.30pm having taken 8hrs 30 minutes for the 160nm leg or an average speed of around 19kts.
Posted on 26 Nov
Sailor of the Year - Burling and Tuke claim top award for fourth time
In a league of their own; Peter Burling and Blair Tuke claim Yachting’s top award once more Gold medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have again stamped a firm mark in New Zealand’s sailing history books, being honored with the sport’s top award for the fourth consecutive year. The acclaimed 49er skiff team were named the winners of the 2016 HRG Sailor of the Year at the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards last night.
Posted on 25 Nov
Strong turn-out for North Harbour Laser Masters
Sunday 13th November saw the the 25th edition of the North Harbour Masters held on Lake Pupuke. The first Laser Masters regatta of the 2016/17 season saw a strong turnout of 35 sailors starting their work up to next years World Masters at Torbay in April 2017. There was a healthy mix of the old guard, returning names of old and some new faces resulting in strong fleets in both the Standard and Radial.
Posted on 22 Nov
Bay of Islands RW - New IRC Nationals format to attract smaller boats
Changes to the format of the 2017 IRC Nationals at Bay of Islands Sailing Week make it appealing for smaller keelboats Organisers say a change to the format of the 2017 IRC Nationals at Bay of Islands Sailing Week will make it more appealing than ever for smaller keelboats to take part. Bay of Islands Sailing Week will host the IRC Nationals again in 2017, enabling boats with endorsed IRC certificates to compete for the prestigious Nationals trophies alongside the usual Bay Week honours.
Posted on 21 Nov
Images of radical supermaxi CQS sailing on the Waitemata
Ludde Ingvall’s revamped supermaxi, CQS, was trialling on the Waitemata Harbour today Ludde Ingvall’s revamped supermaxi, CQS, was trialling on the Waitemata Harbour today in a moderate south westerly breeze and sunshine - a welcome break from the strong winds that have plagued Auckland for the past few days. The supermaxi which started life as the 90ft Nicorette has been stretched to 98ft in a design project led by Bakewell-White Yacht Design
Posted on 18 Nov