Napier gears up for the Opti Worlds 2011 with PredictWind

Optimist North Island Open Championships - Napier October 2011
Tim Whittaker

Napier on the East Coast of New Zealand, is getting ready for the World Championship Optimist Sailing at the end of December 2011.

Next week the Team New Zealand sailors: Leonard Takahashi-Fry, Markus Somerville and William McKenzie (all from Auckland) Isaac McHardie from Hamilton and Nathaniel Deverell from the Bay of Islands will arrive and start training in the Napier waters. Many international sailors won’t be far away.

Opti Worlds' Chairman Pete Dawson is thrilled by the support received from volunteers. 'It is a typical Kiwi event where everyone pulls together to create a world class event'.

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott is excited to host the World Championship this year. A regular sailor herself, Ms Arnott says: 'Napier is keen to support young talent and we always welcome international visitors in the Art Deco Capital of the World'.

'We invite the public to enjoy the Opening Ceremony on New Year’s Eve where all 50 countries will carry their own national flag and will be welcomed in a typical Kiwi way: warm and enthusiastic'.

The Napier Sailing Club is getting all geared up for this year’s World Championships. All the technology is tested and adjusted for this event. Jon Bilger from!PredictWind, has worked on a special weather buoy for the Opti Worlds.

'This model is the world’s smallest deployable weather buoy.!PredictWind is a totally unique product in that you can see the predicted weather patterns hour by hour over a one square kilometre grid. This is major in events like the America’s Cup, but equally as important for the Opti Worlds'.

Jon Bilger will also run a seminar for the young sailors on weather predictions in the Pre-Worlds Clinic on 20 December.

Opti Worlds Vital Stats:
30 December 2011 - 10 January 2012

The racing: 9 days of Championship racing
The competitors: around 220 sailors aged between 11 and 15 years
The countries: teams from 50 nations including reigning Champs Thailand
The host club: Napier Sailing Club, Napier, New Zealand
Famous sailors that have started out in Optis include: Ben Ainslie
The big sponsors: Vodafone, New Zealand Major Events, Hawke's Bay Tourism, SPARC, City of Napier, Air New Zealand, the Radio Network, EuroCity Napier, Victoria Cruising Club, Lion Foundation

The technology: GPS tracking and live video coverage online - real time
The website:
The Facebook page: