by Clare Murray
Australian Optimist National Championships 2012 third day of racing got underway at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly. Today’s conditions were much lighter than yesterday with eight to twelve knots from the east.
Kyle O’Connell - Australian 29er National Championships 2012
Kyle O’Connell from the Gold Coast has moved to the top of the fleet after five races today; after racing was abandoned on day one and postponed for the entirety of day two.
'I’m pretty nervous,' Kyle said about leading the regatta half way through. 'I didn’t think I’d be winning after the first windy day. I didn’t think I could keep up with the other boats. I’ll just take it how it comes and go for it.'
Half of the top ten boats are international with entries from Hong Kong, New Zealand and Reunion Island off the coast of Madagascar. Within the Australian entries there is a nine point gap between second and third.
Second place is held by Victorian Jack Graves on Ozone. 'I’m pretty comfortable. There’s two points between me and first so he might be feeling a bit of pressure. I’ve got a pretty good lead on the third Australian and my aim is top five so I’m just trying to stay relaxed.'
Green Fleet competitors from WA from left Mack Young, Ezra Kaye and Shannon Dalton - Australian Optimists National Championship 2012
In the Green Fleet, racing had been dominated by Shannon Dalton from Western Australia on her boat Missy Moo. 'Today I got four firsts and one second,' nine-year-old Shannon said. 'In the second race I was really close to being first too. I’m just sailing my best and trying my hardest. It’s lots of fun.' This is the first national championship for Shannon.
Shannon, on six points, is followed by Brandon Demura on Stigray in second place with 17 points and her friend from WA, Ezra Kaye on Sonic Screwdriver, in third with 20 points.
To view race results click here.