Sail-World.com : Optimist World Championship Day 1
Optimist World Championship Day 1
'Photo: Esra Karahan - Optimist World Championship - Day 1'
Day 1 of the 46th Optimist World Championship opened the regatta with a superb day's racing in a brisk north-westerly 15-18 knot breeze gusting to 22 knots. Bright, bright sunshine and a sea of the darkest blue made a magnificent panorama of the 255 small boats.
The German team, still celebrating the European girls' win by Paulina Rothlauf, were delighted by the double bullets of Jens Marten in the two races held. Jens is not part of the 'Bavarian brigade' which has produced a succession of champions in recent years but is from Eckernförde on the Danish border. His past successes have included a bronze in the 2007 Garda Easter meeting.
In second place at this early stage is Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR), followed by the expected Caribbean challenge led by South American open champion Ian Barrows of the U.S. Virgin Islands and North American champion Raul Rios from Puerto Rico.
Among the girls North American silver medallist Rachel Lee (SIN) is the predictable leader but our hosts will be delighted that Ceyla Yurtseven is upholding a great tradition of Turkish girl sailors. 2007 top girl Lara Vadlau (AUT) is currently fourth girl behind Naomi Mannering (NZL).
Sailors from the less-experienced countries such as the Gulf states of Bahrain and Qatar can pride themselves in finishing both races in challenging conditions, and a little more effort could see Abdul Azzi Faisal (BRN) in the top half of the fleet.
Racing continues today with three further races scheduled.
Photo:Esra Karahan - Optimist World Championship - Day 1 -
A new record 255 sailors from 54 countries are assembled in Cesme on the west coast of Turkey for the 46th Optimist World Championship. First time participants include Bahrain, one of three Gulf states represented, and FYR Macedonia.
The shore venue is at the ***** Blue Dolphin resort launching into the deep blue waters of the bay. Winds during the practice period have been influenced by the Meltemi wind and have been up to 28 knots but this disappeared yesterday and rather lighter thermal winds prevail for the moment.
The Turkish Yachting Federation has called on enthusiasts from all over the Turkish coast to provide a large organisation team headed by Class secretary Neylan Gunay and with the presence of very active TYF president Nazli Imre. The IODA has supplied three International Measurers to check the equipment - 165 charter boats supplied by Winner Optimists plus 90 brought by participants - and two International Race Officers. The International Jury of ten is headed by Americas Cup judge Henry Menin (ISV).
'Form' in the Optimist Class in always difficult to forecast with the young sailors developing rapidly at this age. Of the competitors remaining from last year the highest ranked were Logan Dunning-Beck (NZL), Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Ian Barrows (ISV) but the tight results at the recent North Americans suggest that Puerto Rico's Raul Rios and Ivan Aponte with Rachel Lee and Russell Kan of Singapore may well be in contention. European form is less easy to forecast since Worlds sailors do not participate in the IODA Europeans but notable victories in other major events have been gained by Tadeusz Kubiak (POL), Harald Faste (NOR) and Stijn van Hoye (BEL).
Following a colourful and commendably brief opening ceremony under the walls of Cesme castle and practice racing in up to 18 knots today, the first races of the 15-race schedule start tomorrow 17 July.
IODA WORLD SAILING CHAMPIONSHIP 2008
14-25 July 2008 / Cesme, Izmir - TURKEY
Sailed:2, Discards:0, To count:2, Entries:250, Scoring system:Appendix A
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