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New Zealand wins 50th UK Open Optimist National Championship

by Sarah Alexander on 9 Aug 2011
Leonard Takahashi-Fry,NZL 4466 - Volvo Gill Optimist Open and National Championships 2011 © Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com http://www.pwpictures.com

The 50th Volvo Gill Optimist National and Open Championship came to a close today (Friday 5th August) after a week of fantastic sailing in a mixture of racing conditions.

The week started light with no wind for the 450 sailors but increased as the week progressed. Racing finished today with sunshine but challenging conditions and 30-40 degree shifts.

After 12 races and talented, consistent sailing New Zealand’s Leonard Takahashi-Fry (13, Murrays Bay SC) takes the Volvo Gill Optimist Open Champion title 'It’s really exciting to be Volvo Gill Optimist Open Champion. Sailing today was ok and pretty shifty but the weeks been great and as it went on I got better at sailing in the shifts. It’s been a bit cold, back home it’s hotter but it’s been pretty nice weather. I’ve really enjoyed sailing here and the event’s been well organized' said Leonard.


Arran Holman (14, Hollowell SC) is crowned Volvo Gill Optimist British National Champion 'It’s been a really good week, enjoyable and very exciting. Today was really shifty and challenging out there but it was good and great conditions. It’s great to be the 50th National Champion and I’ve had a fantastic time' said 2010 Volvo Optimist End of Season Champion, Arran.

The trophy for the top British girl was awarded to Royal Lymington’s Mimi El- Khazindar (14) and Gill Race Team member Milo Gill Taylor (11, Spinnaker Sailing Club) secured the Junior fleet title. Close behind Milo was local sailor Huw Edwards (12, Port Dinorwic).

'It’s absolutely amazing! I’m so excited. Today was nerve racking but I won my first race. It’s my favourite sailing venue and I won the Regatta fleet here in 2008 so it’s great to win again' said GBR World Squad member Milo.


After 13 races the winner of the Regatta Racing fleet was 10 year old Matilda Nicholls (Royal Bermuda YC) who showcased talented sailing all week, followed by Sally Lorimer (Warsach SC).

Newly appointed IOCA (UK) Chairman, Simon Rogers paid tribute to a wonderful week of fun yet competitive racing 'It’s been an incredible week with some absolutely fantastic sailing here at the 50th anniversary of the National Championships. We are delighted with the racing we have had all week and the conditions have been perfect '.

Event website

For additional reports and blog see www.optimist.org.nz/

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