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2103 Optimist Worlds- NZL Yachting Trust team arrive at Lake Garda

by Angus Haslett on 14 Jul 2013
Susannah, Nick, Henry, Tom, Leonard, Alastair on site at the 2013 Optimist Worlds SW

The New Zealand Optimist Team report in from Lake Garda, Italy, venue for the 2013 Optimist Worlds:

Please find below the first of a series of updates we will send through from Lake Garda with regard to the team's progress. If you do not wish to be on this list please let me know and I can delete it, likewise though if you have others who may be interested please send it on or let me know if you'd like them added to the list. We will also try to send some photos through to you from time to time or you can go to the team's facebook page.

For those who know Riva del Garda you will know how simply beautiful this place is. We have been looked after very well with all of our Winner boats waiting for us on arrival, the team hotel in a great location and the famous winds starting to play their part.

Alastair Gifford and Henry Haslett were the first of the team to arrive and they managed a catamaran sail on their first day followed by two days of training in light conditions. Nick Egnot-Johnson and Leonard Takahashi-Fry arrived fresh from their racing in the Queensland Youth regatta and Tom Fyfe landed safely after a sail on Artemis's AC45 in San Francisco Bay. Coach Susannah Pyatt has settled the team into a routine of fitness, strategy and sailing.

first few days has seen an unsettled weather pattern with the true Peler and Ora pattern not establishing itself until yesterday which was the first day of a pre-regatta event which has around 120 entries. A good 20 knot breeze and reasonable waves settled in for the afternoon and all sailors started well with Leonard leading the pre-regatta at this stage. The Singaporean sailors are looking strong in the breeze as well as the local Italians and whilst there were some notable absences in the pre-regatta, the teams from Portugal and the Ukraine had some strong looking sailors however our team held up well against them. Supporters made the climb by bike up the side of the lake in 33 degrees to establish a viewing platform and discovered that after ascending 500m above the lake a better view can be had down lower - and it was closer to needed refreshments.

The second day of the pre-regatta (today) saw no wind until 11.00am then a sudden change with, what looked like an Ora - build to around 20 knots and we thought we'd be in for three good races this afternoon. Sadly it was not to be with many sailors using the regatta for reasons other than to get some good sailing in with no clean starts (some sailors were over by 30m). After a frustrating period Susannah and the Australians and USA felt our teams could do better with some training together so they made the most of the breeze by themselves until almost as suddenly as it arrived it disappeared.

Getting on the water amongst the international sailors was good though and our team learnt some useful wind tactics as well as how to deal with language barriers and some pretty assertive sailors.

Another training day is planned for tomorrow with measurement taking place at 5.00pm and as I write this lightening and thunder are rolling around the hills and its about 30 degrees at 8pm

So all in all a great start in a wonderful location with the team finding Italy a great place to be and starting to fit well into the local culture.

Until the next update

kind regards from the 2013 NZL Yachting Trust Optimist World's Team

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