Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Flying the South African flag at NZ Optimist World Championship

by Nathalie van Dort on 14 Dec 2011
Optimist North Island Open Championships - Napier October 2011 Tim Whittaker

To the uninformed public, sailing may appear to be an obscure sport or even not a sport at all. However the sailing community is very active. The sport is still growing and South Africa (SA) is being put on the world stage by our sailing talent.

On 21 December, 5 South African boys will jet off to New Zealand to participate in the 2011 Optimist Worlds Sailing Championship that will take place in Napier from 30 December – 10 January 2012.

At Optiworlds the top five sailors from about 50 countries will compete for the world title in a very technical and competitive 10-day event.

The Optimist, Oppie or Opti for short, is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy, measuring 2.3m long by 1.1m wide, and intended for use by children up to the age of 15. It is recognized as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Over 150,000 kids in over 100 countries sail an Optimist, making it not only one of the biggest dinghy classes in the world, but also one of the fastest growing.

Optimists provide real international competition because they are a one-design boat, manufactured to the same specification by dozens of builders around the world. They all must conform to the same standard (the class rules), so the results of a race depend on the skill of the skipper rather than equipment superiority.

The SA team is made up by Cape Town boys: David Wilson, Travis Barret and Emil Feuillette (all aged 14) as well as Ryan Barnardo and Daniel Spratley (both aged 15). They will be accompanied by their coach Andrea Giovannini and their manager Kevin Bingham.

Sailing is an endurance sport, which requires and tests one’s fitness, strength and one’s decision-making ability. Each contestant is alone in their boat and they are not allowed to be coached while racing.

The sport currently receives very little support in South Africa and the boys and their families have had to cover their own costs to get to the competition. Thankfully, the generous sponsorship from Twice2Much, Hitachi and Gill sailing gear has helped the boys with their team uniform and equipment needs.

Over the next few weeks, the SA team will place high priority on getting as much time on the water to hone their skills. They’ve also had to focus on their end of the year exams, but with that now behind them, the excitement is mounting and they’re counting down the days..

For more information about the world championships visit http://www.optiworldsnz.org.nz.
Barz Optics - Kids rangeRS Sailing 660x82Insun - AC Program

Related Articles

World Masters Games - Medals for Australia, Britain and New Zealand
The medals were shared between three nations as the sailing competition in the World Masters Games came to an end The Gold medals were shared between three nations as the sailing competition in the World Masters Games came to an end in Auckland today. Soon after Dan Slater (NZL) crossed the finish line in the final race in the Laser class, someone yelled out that he had finally picked up a Games medal at the fourth time of trying.
Posted today at 12:07 pm
Heiner's consistency pays dividends in Sailing World Cup Hyères
Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn. Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Posted on 27 Apr
World Cup Series Hyeres – Dylan and Stuart hold their nerve on Day 3
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell held on to their 49er World Cup lead in Hyeres, France, on Thursday Wind conditions built later than anticipated on this third day of competition, and knowing that Friday’s forecast looks set to bring big breeze and potentially a day confined to shore, sailors and race management alike were eager to eke out the best conditions and complete the day’s schedule.
Posted on 27 Apr
Points close as Heiner takes lead on Day 3 of World Cup Series Hyeres
Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands has risen to the top of the Finn rankings after the third day France’s Fabian Pic also moved up, to second, while Great Britain’s Ben Cornish didn’t have the best day, and dropped to third. Race wins went to Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Norway’s Anders Pedersen.
Posted on 27 Apr
World Masters Games - Bilger's success in the wind
As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games but the only issue is his predictions are available for all of his rivals. He still hasn’t been tempted to put out any rogue information, though.
Posted on 27 Apr
New conditions and new faces at front in Hyeres
On the second day at the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France there were new conditions and some new faces at the front. On the second day at the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France there were new conditions and some new faces at the front. Race wins went to Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Ed Wright from Great Britain, but Ben Cornish continues to lead, on equal points with Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands. Turkey’s Alican Kaynar has moved up to third.
Posted on 27 Apr
Zhik 29er Worlds 2018 - making it easier
RHKYC announces L’hotel Island South as the Official Hotel Partner for the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018. Race Chairman of the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018, Peter Backe commenting on the announcement said, “Having an official hotel will make things so much easier for the competitors. Participants will have all their information and travel needs covered for the event. With transportation included to the race venue daily, and news that the committee will post a second notice board
Posted on 27 Apr
Masters Games - Volvo and Olympic father and son race two-hander
Report from Day 3 of the World Masters Games being sailed at Torbay Sailing Club in the Weta and Laser classes Former Flying Dutchman crew Murray Rae was keen to tackle the 2017 World Masters Games at Torbay, Auckland, with his Rome Olympics teammate. But when Ron Watson wasn’t available he was able to call on a veteran of seven America’s Cups and five round the world yacht races. The alternative also happened to be his son.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
Cornish and Pic open the scoring in World Cup Series Hyeres
Ramshaw took the left track downwind and passed Cornish, who later admitted he had not seen the Oscar flag flying. Race one got started in a pleasant 9-11 knots with Oscar flag flying for free pumping. After a route up the middle right, Cornish squeezed round the top mark in the lead from Italy’s Filippo Baldassari and Henry Wetherall of Great Britain.
Posted on 25 Apr