Day 2 in the Harken Invitation Regatta was characterised by shifty winds delaying racing. The regatta is a precursor to the 2011 Optimist Worlds being staged at Napier, on the east coast of New Zealand.
Although racing started late, two races with each of the three fleets were held and allowed organisers to complete the regatta with a successful day's sailing.
Provisional results indicate that Kimberly Lim from Singapore is the overall winner of the Harken Invitational Regatta. Ryan Lo also from Singapore came second, and Rodrigo Luz from Brazil is placed third overall.
The best placed New Zealand Team Sailor was Leonard Takahashi-Fry who finished 7th in the overall ranking. William McKenzie was placed 11th with Isaac McHardie 12th. Nathaniel Deverell was placed 30th and Markus Sommerville 69th.
'We are focusing on the World Championships' says New Zealand coach and 2007 OptiWorld Champion Chris Steele, 'and are pleased with these results from such a large fleet'.
Many teams have used the Harken Invitational Regatta as a way to acclimatise their sailors to New Zealand sailing conditions and the challenges of racing within a large fleet format where more than 200 boats were competing within a fairly tight area.
In addition the organisers had been able to use this regatta as a means to test their systems and the various components that will come in to play during the OptiWorlds.
Of particular interest to supporters and spectators has been the live feed of race footage to the Napier Sailing Club and the inclusion of a real time blog on www.optiworldsnz.org.nz
In addition to keeping people informed this has resulted many of the shore based personal having an accurate picture of how the regatta is developing and the sailors to watch.
Apart from the racing, there are many other activities organised for the public. Yachting New Zealand has provided a number of Optimist Dinghies and the public is invited to have a go themselves. A ride in the Waka is a must for a real New Zealand experience, and there will also be a Farmers Market on Monday morning 2nd January.
The public is invited to come down to the Sound Shell in Napier for the Official Opening Ceremony on 31 December 5pm. People can watch the racing on the beach on Hardinge Road, or come down to the Fan Zone at the Napier Sailing Club for replays of the races and mixing with the 48 nationalities taking part. www.optiworldsnz.com Opti Worlds Vital Stats:
30 December 2011 - 10 January 2012
The boat: a safe and simple dinghy that is one of the world's most popular designs
The racing: 9 days of Championship racing
The competitors: around 210 sailors aged between 11 and 15 years
The countries: teams from 48 nations including reigning Champs Thailand
The host club: Napier Sailing Club, Napier, New Zealand
Famous sailors that have started out in Optis include: Ben Ainslie
The big sponsors: Vodafone, New Zealand Major Events, Hawke's Bay Tourism, SPARC, City of Napier, Air New Zealand, the Radio Network, EuroCity Napier, Victoria Cruising Club, Lion Foundation
The technology: GPS tracking and live video coverage online - real time
The website: www.optiworldsnz.com
The Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/optiworldsnz2011