After delays caused by concerns about competitor seeding and light winds, the competitors were led out of the harbour by the Maori waka Nga Tukemata O Kahungunu for the first days racing.
This provided a great spectacle to onlookers and followed on from the great feedback received from competitors and supporters following last nights' official welcome and competition opening ceremony.
210 competitors from 48 countries are divided into 6 groups resulting in three fleets per race and a spectacle on the start line with seventy boats per race. With a light breeze of 7 knots moving around during the afternoon, the first race started at 14.48 (2.48pm) with all three flights getting away for the first race.
A light breeze stayed in throughout the first races with provisional results showing three Singaporean sailors (Jillian Lee Sook Ying, Ryan Lo Jun Han, Elisa Yukie Yokoyama) being tied for first place after the initial races.
The first kiwi sailor is Leonard Takahashi-Fry who is placed 23rd after the first race with other New Zealand sailors being Isaac McHardie 37th, Markus Sommerville 40th, William McKenzie 70th and Nathaniel Deverell 76th.
Two of the three second races were started but at 16.48 (4.48pm) racing was cancelled and competitors returned to shore due to a dying breeze and significant swings in wind direction.
The weather for tomorrow is expected to deliver southerly breezes starting at 12 knots and building during the day. The first races are scheduled to start at 10.25am tomorrow.
A full list of provisional placings, images and film footage from the first days racing is available at www.optiworldsnz.com
<:img Alt_optiWorlds12_capizzano_98281.jpg :> 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: around 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.com
The Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/optiworldsnz2011
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