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Victorian and Open Optimist Championships record fleet turn out

by Steven Bond on 17 Mar 2011
Victorian and Open Optimist Championships . ..
Victorian and Open Optimist Championships were held on Saturday and a record fleet turned out at Mornington Yacht Club. The fleet was evenly split with 55 sailors in each of the Open and Green fleets.

Hughie was absent on Saturday and Sunday morning before Race Officer Stephen Bolton got the Open Fleet away, unfortunately a 30 plus knot Southerly interfered the finish line and the race was abandoned. What followed showed excellent race management and on water support to return all the Optis ashore with the myriad of Opti parents heading out to assist the Moth and Musto skiff fleets that were caught out on the southern course.

With a light south-easterly building Monday morning, both fleets managed to get in six races before the 3:00 p.m. warning signal time limit. Interstate entries were down on last year but six SA sailors travelled from Brighton and Seacliff YC, one from WA (SoPYC) and three from NSW including Jim Colley (RPAYC) who sailed consistently (1,1,4,4,(9dsc), 2=12) to take out the Open Championship.

Black Rock sailor and Australian Worlds team member James McLennan(4, (9), 2,2,4,5=17) is the Victorian Champion this year, closely followed by Jack Graves of SSCBC ((22),6,3,8,1,1=19) with Mornington brothers Tyrone(BFD,3,6,7,8,4) and Rhett Gowans (BFD,8,14,1,5,3) finishing third and fourth respectively and Zac O’Connell ((15),2,15,3,2,11) of Sandringham fifth and Sarah Phillip (SSCBC) was First Girl.

VIODA introduced trophies in age categories for Open Fleet sailors this year to highlight the efforts of the younger sailors; First place in 10 and Under was Lachie Evenden (DBYC), eleven year old James Grogan, twelve year old Nick Sharman and runner up thirteen year old Jack Graves.

With States now completed in WA, SA, Tasmania and Victoria, Opti sailors head to Woollahra for the NSW Championships on March 26 and 27. AOST members are heading to the NZL Nationals at Easter and the OAMPS QLD Youth Week at RQYS in July is promising to be the biggest yet.

For more information www.aioda.com

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