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SA State Optimist Championships - Alex Higgins makes it three in a row

by Emma Short on 13 Feb 2013
Matt Meaney kept right on Alex Higgins tail to take 2nd - SA State Optimist Championships 2013 Andrew Meaney
Largs Bay provided an excellent venue for the SA Optimist State Championships which were held in conjunction with the third YSA Tri Series. Wayne Thompson President of YSA, acting as Race Officer for the weekend, ran 12 races ably assisted by the Largs volunteers. The State Optimist Association were very impressed with the professional level of organisation put into running this event by Largs Bay Sailing Club.

Perfect – the only word to describe this regatta. Perfect weather, racing and hospitality.

The Open Fleet competition was dominated by three of the sailors who have been selected for the Australian Optimist Sailing Team. Alex Higgins sailed a brilliant regatta. All the heavy weather sailing at the Nationals in Hobart have taught him how to handle himself in a strong breeze and he demonstrated this after lunch on Sunday when the breeze built up to a steady 17 knots with gusts up to 22 knots. Matt Meaney was hot on his tail, something Alex acknowledged in his winner’s speech. He thanked Matt for being his friend and training partner and for always pushing him on.



Sam Magarey who performed so well at the Nationals was off form this weekend due to a week spent at school camp. After a good night’s sleep on Saturday night he picked up on Sunday and showed some of the skills that saw him finish 15th Australian at the Nationals. Special mention must be made of Oliver Snoad who scored a third, Joal Mackenzie a first & a third and Josh Tonkin a second.



The Most Improved Award went to Ben Hinks who came second in the Green Fleet last year and finished 10th in Open Fleet this year. The Encouragement Award went to Brooke Gaffney from Largs Bay Sailing Club, who finished third in Green Fleet last year and came 18th in Open Fleet this year. Largs Bay is developing a good fleet of Optimists and we expect to see more of their sailors in the top of the field next year.

Thank you to the two interstate sailors Max Paul from NSW and Chloe Fisher from Tasmania and the 4 sailors (Tayla, Indiah & Alyssa Kelsey & Madeline Harris) from Port Lincoln for travelling a long way to compete on the weekend. Max Paul was awarded the Traveller’s Trophy for his third overall.

A very big thank you to our sponsor ZHIK who once again donated some fantastic sailing gear for prizes.

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