Please select your home edition
Edition
Hall Spars Mast

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!

Southern Spars - 100Protector - 660 x 82C-Tech

Related Articles

RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand help yacht clubs with Cup tour
The America's Cup winners, along with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, will tour a number of regions The America's Cup winners, along with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, will tour a number of regions with the Auld Mug in October and will drop into the Pleasant Point Yacht Club on October 14 for a fundraising event. Pleasant Point Yacht Club sails on the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and are currently working out of five shipping containers as they look to build new facilities after the Canterb
Posted on 25 Sep
NZL Sailing Team - Kiwis stage comeback for fourth at Nacra Worlds
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders mounted a stirring comeback on the final day of the Nacra world championships Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders mounted a stirring comeback on the final day of the Nacra world championships in France overnight (NZ time) but just fell short of picking up a medal. The Kiwi crew won the first two races of the day in the breeziest conditions of the regatta sailed in 15-23 knots but finished seventh in the top-10 medal race to finish fourth overall
Posted on 11 Sep
470 U-20 Championship winners caught by surprise at Closing Ceremony
Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith didn't realise until the closing ceremony for the U-23 470 Worlds According to their Facebook page, Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith didn't realise until the closing ceremony of the 470 junior world championships in Japan at the weekend, that they had won the U-20 title. The 17-year-old twins who sail out of the Murrays Bay Sailing Club knew they had finished eighth overall in the under-23 regatta but had little idea they had won the under-20 division.
Posted on 5 Sep
NZL Sailing Team - Nacra 17 crew tries remote sailing approach
It’s often said long distance relationships don’t work but Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders hope it will It’s often said long distance relationships don’t work but Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders hope it will be the ingredient that helps deliver them Olympic gold. The Nacra 17 crew, who finished fourth in Rio, have decided to put together another Olympic campaign. One of the main features of that sees Saunders live in France and Jones spend most of her time in New Zealand.
Posted on 4 Sep
NZL Sailing Team - Kiwis slip to second in extreme conditions on Day 3
Cartwheels, capsizes and cancellations were the order of the day on the third day of racing Cartwheels, capsizes and cancellations were the order of the day on the third day of racing at the 49er and 49erFX worlds but Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are still in sight of a world title. No racing was possible in the 49er fleets as winds in excess of 30 knots and huge swells hit the coast off Porto but the 49erFX gold fleet managed four races before the conditions became too dangerous.
Posted on 1 Sep
America’s Cup cyclor to represent Emirates Team NZ at NZ Match Racing
Andy Maloney will represent Emirates Team NZ at the Yachting Developments NZ Match Racing Championships Andy Maloney, who was on board Team New Zealand as a cyclor and foil trimmer when they won the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda earlier this year, will represent Emirates Team New Zealand at this year’s Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Posted on 28 Aug
Laser Radial Youth Worlds - Josh Armit wins U-17 World title
Murrays Bay SC's Josh Armit has won the under-17 Laser Radial Youth World title Murrays Bay SC's Josh Armit has won the under-17 Laser Radial Youth World title, sailed at Medemblik, the Netherlands, by a massive 41 points. Armit finished just out of the medals in the Open championship after three-way tie, and was placed fourth overall after the tie-breaker process was applied. Olivia Christie was 21st in the girl's fleet.
Posted on 20 Aug
America's Cup - Russell Coutts takes charge at Manly Sailing Club
Sir Russell Coutts has gone from running the America's Cup to running a small yacht club on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast, 'He can be commodore as long as he wants the job,' Bennett said. 'We don't have set terms here. 'He's said he's done with the America's Cup so has time and he's also said he needs something else to get his teeth into. All of a sudden, he's like a big dog with a bone.'
Posted on 25 Jul
NZL Sailing Team - Indifferent day puts Kiwi 470 crew out of medals
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox will look to win tonight's medal race to finish the 470 world championships in Greece Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox will look to win tonight's medal race to finish the 470 world championships in Greece on a good note after they dropped out of medal contention overnight (NZ time). The Kiwi pair went into the penultimate day in fourth but a 27th on the third and final race overnight saw them drop to ninth and out of medal contention.
Posted on 15 Jul
Safety at Sea Triple Series - NZ Rigging 60 a drifter
Over 90 boats started the NZ Rigging 60 in light winds and showers on Saturday July 8 in the inner Hauraki Gulf. Over 90 boats started the NZ Rigging 60 in light winds and showers on Saturday July 8 in the inner Hauraki Gulf. Despite the six separate starts for the nine divisions, the fleet were soon bunched up together in Moutihe Channel waiting for breeze.
Posted on 11 Jul