by Barry Upson
Taranaki(New Zealand) has really turned it on for the 2012 Toyota Optimist National Championships. For the New Zealand Optimist National Championships the New Plymouth Yacht Club has organised a great location and glorious weather – only the coffee cart appears to be missing.
Optimist National Championships 2012
Of the 207 competitors, 161 are Open Fleet and 46 Green Fleet. Joining us from 'over the ditch' are 19 sailors from various yacht clubs around Australia. Of particular mention are Findlay Dickinson sailing in the Green Fleet from Great Britain and Open Fleet sailor Mael Le Pen from Noumea.
Day 1 saw 21 teams competing in light winds from the SE and 1-1.5m swell. Of notable scalp was Murrays Bay 3 taken out Charteris Bay (Christchurch) early on.
The Lee Breakwater provided exceptional viewing of the course. The final three teams were Wakatere, Kohimarama and Murrays Bay 1.
After Wakatere was eliminated, Kohi met Murrays Bay in the final which Murrays Bay won 2 – 0.
The annual Trans-Tasman Team Racing challenge then took place with Murrays Bay versing Team Australia. Murrays continued with their winning form and in the afternoon late sea breeze defeated Australia.
The Championship racing commences on Monday.