The Canadian Optimist Championships started with a practice race on Sunday, August 17th with a storm running through the race course on Mahone Bay that challenged the sailors to hike and bail harder. Ashore, all sailors lined up and were piped into the opening ceremonies to start the regatta.
There were representatives from Canada (Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia), Bermuda, Iceland, Great Britain, United States, and US Virgin Islands. Racing on Monday and Tuesday brought cloud and sun with a building seabreeze out of the northwest, presenting ideal sailing conditions.
Today will see a lay day for those sailors that would like to visit surrounding tourist attractions in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, or team racing in Princes Inlet, right off the deck of the Lunenburg Yacht Club.
The highlight of the regatta is the hosedown from the Lunenburg Fire Department at the end of the day. As freshwater is a rare commodity, the fire truck arrives shortly before the youngsters arrive on shore. Several boats are brought up the launch ramp at a time and hosed down with freshwater to remove the salt. From numerous observations, it is still not clear who really enjoys this process more, the children OR the firemen! The young sailors have also been treated to smoothies by Booster Juice, hypnotist Ian Stewart, guest speaker Andreas Josenhans, ghost stories with popcorn, and fireworks! Sometimes it seems that the sailing might actually not be the most important activity on the agenda, and that is really okay!
Day one of racing in Mahone Bay Opti Naitonals 2014 - Katie Nicoll
Opening Ceremonies - Katie Nicoll