154 boats entered in NSW Optimist State Championships this week-end at RPAYC

Thursday, 21 March 2013


The Pittwater waterway will be a spectacular sight when a massive 154 boats, with kids aged between 8 and 14, assemble this week-end for the start of the 2013 NSW International Optimist State Championships, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Newport.

The RPAYC and the Organising Committee, IODA couldn't be happier with the number of entries they have received including some international and interstate competitors. The 154 competitors have been broken down into three fleets; Open, Silver and Green with the Open boasting a maximum fleet size of 70, the silver 45 and Green 39.

The event will be sailed in the International Optimist, a class that is popular the world over and is an ideal boat for kids between 8 to 14 to learn to sail and race in. The International Optimist Dinghy is currently raced by more than 150,000 sailors in over 110 countries worldwide. The class lays claim to that more than two thirds of the medal winning sailors at the last two Olympic Games, and over 85% of the medal winning skippers at the Beijing Olympics were former Optimist sailors. That's why they say Optimists are the bathtubs that breed champions.

There will be a maximum of 12 races for the Open fleet and 10 for the Silver fleet to determine the overall winner. Scoring of the boats series score will be based on his or her individual race scores less two drops for her worst performances over the 12 races. He or she with the lowest points after this will be crowned the NSW state champion.

The Green fleet is designed for younger, less experienced kids early in their sailing career. They sail shorter courses and in lighter conditions giving them the opportunity to advance their sailing skills in competition through participation and sail by the motto “smiling faces finishing races”.

The RPAYC will be bursting at the seams with the car park filled with boats, sails and competitors here for the registration and measurement from 4:30pm Friday.

With a competitor briefing at 1015hrs on Saturday morning, racing will get underway at 1130hrs under the watchful eye of Principal Race Officer Ted Anderson. Racing will continue on Sunday. The BOM forecast is for North Easterly 15-20 knots in the morning tending easterly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon for the first day of competition.

The race course will be to the area North of Scotland Island for the Open and silver fleets and in the little pond to the South of Scotland Island for the Green fleet.

Rear Commodore Centreboard Peter Bennett said, “It’s very exciting for the Alfred’s to be hosting the Opti State Championships. An event like this requires a lot of planning and there is obviously a lot of work going on behind the scenes in preparation for the event. Things like car parking, boat storage and rigging areas, food & beverage operations, volunteers to help run the races, it’s enormous. Like the Nationals a couple of years back, this is going to be one of the biggest ever regattas held in Pittwater and it will be a fantastic flurry of youth sailors and their families around the Club and in the local area.” 

The regatta will coincide with the official launch of the Objective Australia Youth America’s Cup team which will take place after racing on Saturday 23 March from 5:30pm. All welcome to hear about the selection series, Objective Australia's approach to America's Cup success, as well as the professionalism, skills and desire it takes to sail one of the most aggressive boats on the water - the AC45.

The RPAYC is the home of Objective Australia, our national team competing for the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and is Australia's first participant in the America's Cup arena for over a decade. Our team will compete against seven other nations in San Francisco in September 2013.

So with the scene set and some good sailing promised over the week-end, good luck to all competitors in the 2013 NSW International Optimist State Championships.

See Yacht racing - dinghies & skiffs > General Racing images

The RPAYC and the Organising Committee wish to thank their sponsors Gill.

By Damian Devine

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 March 2013 )