Tasmanian State Championship nurturing junior sailing in Tasmania

A Optimist racing in last weekend’s Crown Series 2011 Bellerive Regatta
The Sandy Bay Sailing Club on Hobart’s sweeping Nutgrove Beach this weekend is hosting the 2011 Tasmanian State championship for the junior training dinghy, the Optimist.

The State championships follow last weekend’s Crown Series Bellerive Regatta in which the Optimist class was well represented and the State titles have attracted entries from several clubs around Tasmania.

The championships will comprise two fleets, open and green. The green fleet is a coached regatta, designed for junior sailors new to racing and has proven an ideal way for youngsters to embark on a racing career.

The Optimist is a small, single-handed dinghy intended for use by junior sailors up to the age of 15. Children as young as eight comfortably learn to sail in these versatile ‘pram’ dinghies.

The Optimist is easy to sail, but difficult to master and the class has a long-standing reputation for producing outstanding sailors. At the Beijjing Olympics, 85% of medal winning skippers former Optimist dinghy sailors.

Optimist sailors at Sandy Bay Sailing Club include the children of prominent Hobart yachtsmen, such as successful Farr 40 and ocean racing helmsman Andrew Hunn.

Alec Bailey and Henry Goodfellow, Tasmania’ top crew in the 420 class
Garry Langford

Sandy Bay Sailing Club is also hosting the State championship for the 420 class this weekend, while the following weekend the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club will conduct the Sabot States and Kingston Beach Sailing Club will run the Laser States.