You could hear a sigh of relief when all 210 competitors, at the 2011 World Optimist Championships, got up this morning in Napier, New Zealand: the sun was out, and there was a bit of a breeze. During the day, the wind changed and the clouds came back in, but at least the rain held off.
The race committee decided early on to try to get four races completed on the second day of racing, in order to catch up with yesterday's delays and abandonment of the second race.
First race started at 10.25am with only 6 knots breeze. Later in the day, the wind got up to 20 knots, but was not staying around for long. A few of the flights had to be abandoned, but overall the race committee is pleased to have called four races for each of the three fleets.
Dutch sailors dominated the leaderboard - taking two out of the top three spots. On the provisional placings after five races Bart Lambriex from the Netherlands is placed first, Wade Waddell from the USA is placed second and Philip Meijer also from the Netherlands is placed third.
Ryan Lo who was in second place yesterday, holds the fourth position.
Best New Zealand sailor is Leonard Takahasi-Fry, who is now in sixth position, climbing from 23rd yesterday.
It was a long but very good day for sailing. Sailors left the harbour at 9.30am to start the first race at 10.25am and returned around 5pm.
The weather for tomorrow is promising to be fine with southerlies dying out, with wind speed around 12 knots. The lighter winds are usually favourable for the lighter sailors, and this competition isn't over yet. The Optimist World Championship finishes on January 9th.
A full list of provisional placings, images and film footage from the first days racing is available at www.optiworldsnz.org.nz Opti Worlds Vital Stats:
30 December 2011 - 10 January 2012
The boat: a safe and simple dinghy that is one of the world's most popular designs
The racing: 9 days of Championship racing
The competitors: 210 sailors aged between 11 and 15 years
The countries: teams from 48 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: www.optiworldsnz.org.nz
The Facebook page: 1,177 likes http://www.facebook.com/optiworldsnz2011