by Ian Grant
The 2012 Australian Optimist Dinghy Championship is set to take place on Brisbane’s Waterloo Bay in January and it will be an important challenge for sailors Brendan Hoffman and Cedar White who are representing Whitsunday Sailing Club in the event.
The two enthusiastic young skippers are among the 73 early entries including sailors from Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong clubs.
They will face a supreme challenge of their individual sailing skill however even to race at the National level will prove to be a valuable experience for the Brendan Hoffman helmed G-Wizz and Cedar White in Junior Wings.
Racing in the championship represents the first major step for the junior Whitsunday Sailing Club skippers who are about to realise a huge difference between the racing in a small club fleet on Pioneer Bay to the challenge of protecting their sailing space when the sails are tensioned for the National championship points in an unfamiliar environment.
However they will not be alone with a high number of equally young and inexperienced sailors also testing their skills at the National regatta level for the first time.
Klaus Lorenz their resident club coach who achieved Queensland’s best ever Australian championship result of third overall earlier this year has encouraged the Whitsunday Sailing Club team including his younger sister Eva to think smart and furthermore to enjoy the opportunity to gain the valuable experience of racing at the National level.
The experience of racing in big fleets is a valuable asset and irrespective of their results both Brendan Hoffman and Cedar White will emerge with the skills to protect the opportunity to sail in clear wind and water.
It took several major regattas for Klaus Lorenz to master this important Optimist class racing advantage which promises to prove invaluable when he and his teenage crew-mate Ollie Annear compete in their first Australian 420 Open and Youth championship on Deception Bay from the December 27th to January 2nd.
They have temporally placed their school studies on hold with lengthy mid-week training sessions on Pioneer Bay in a bold bid to make sure they are physically and mentally prepared to contest a place in the front of the pack with Australia’s best 420 dinghy crews.
Both of the relatively self-taught teenage sailors who have refined the important boat handling skills in a varied range of wind and sea conditions on Pioneer Bay have the proven potential to make their presence count with an impressive maiden championship result.