The 2012 Optimist Worlds Organizing Committee is planning an International Invitational Optimist Regatta to precede the start of the Optimist World Championships in Napier starting on 30 December this year.
The two day regatta will run on the 28th and 29th of December and will be open to all the International sailors coming to compete in the Worlds.
'We are anticipating that at least half of the World’s best Opti sailors will take the opportunity to come early and have a practice regatta against each other on the same Napier sailing waters as the World Championship will take place a couple of days later,' says Peter Dawson of the Organizing Committee.
In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete against the World's best, organizers are extending invitations to the top 100 ranked Kiwi Optimist sailors to enter as well.
They will also invitations to the top five Green Fleet sailors from the recently held Wakatere National Champs. 'This will ensure we are capturing next year’s big fleet-climbers too,' says Peter.
'Invitations will be coming out shortly and we hope that this will help increase the volunteer base to run the Worlds.'
Very few of New Zealand's Opti sailors get to compete in and experience an Optimist World Championships as only the top five under 16 year old sailors from each nation are entitled to attend.
'We believe that the NZIODA’s policy to send different sailors overseas to different regattas each year and the success of the National and Regional Coaching Clinics has strengthened the depth of the fleet considerably in recent years,' continues Peter. 'We fully expect that the top 100 Kiwi sailors will mix it up with the best in the World at this pre-Worlds Invitational Regatta.'
'This was just too good an opportunity to let go and not have the whole New Zealand Opti Community involved in the Napier Worlds. It is not expected that we will see this regatta again for 20 years so the Kiwi families invited will be sure to delay their Christmas holidays and ensure they get to Napier and experience this wonderful event.'
Details to follow on www.optiworldsnz.org.nz