News from the 2011 Toyota Optimist Nationals

President of IODA visits New Zealand

The President of the International Optimist Association, Mr Peter Barclay from Peru, has recently completed a four day visit to New Zealand. During this time he has spent his time with the Orgainising Committee for the 2011 Optimist World Sailing Championships to be held in Napier over the Christmas/New Year period.

While in Auckland, the President has been able to take in the Optimist Teams Racing Nationals off Narrow Neck Beach at the Wakatere Boating Club, and also two days of the fleet racing Nationals. Many of the locals had a chance to meet with, and listen to, Peter Barclay at the friendly Wakatere onshore facilities.

During a whirlwind visit to Napier, with Peter Dawson and Adrian Mannering, Peter Barclay was able to have a tour of the Napier Sailing Club where he inspected and ticked off the facilities, had a close look at the sailing waters, and inspected the accommodation arrangements for all 400 competitors as well as the Team Officials expected to arrive in December. He had the opportunity to have lunch with Napier Mayor, Barbara Arnott, and was able to learn first hand just how committed Napier City is to ensuring visitors have a memorable experience. Peter Barclay was also able to meet the 2011 Optimist World Measurement Team, and Napier Sailing Club manager Lyle Tresadearn.

Back in Auckland a series of meetings were held with the 2011 Optimist Worlds Organising Committee and the Napier Race Management Team, who were also busy running our Nationals.

The President's parting comments were if you want to go to a football country, then you want to visit Brazil. If you want to go to a sailing nation, then of course you will visit New Zealand. It is expected that 50 different countries will attend the 2011 World Championships in Napier, each of them bringing their top 5 sailors. This will be the biggest international yachting event of a single sailing class that New Zealand has ever hosted.

To give New Zealand sailors a chance to compete against the World's best Optimist sailors, the Organisers are planning to hold an Invitational Regatta a few days prior to the 2011 Optimist Worlds which many sailors will be invited to attend.

Further information on the 2011 Optimist Worlds to be held in Napier is available on the event website: www.optiworldsnz.org.nz

Below: President of IODA, Peter Barclay, with 2011 Optimist Worlds Committee member, Peter Dawson and the mysterious wing-masted Optimist 


Open fleet prizegiving photos

Go to the 2011 Toyota Opti Nats facebook page to view photos taken at the prizegiving.

There are also photos taken by a group of supporters on our Picasa page: click on Supporter Gallery (in the main menu) and you'll end up on Neil Wallis' Teams Racing album, after that you can click to the left of there: 2011 NZL Opti Nats to view other photos in the public gallery.


Leonard Takahashi-Fry wins the Championship


Above: Leonard Takahashi-Fry

The Open fleet Championship has been won by Aucklander 12 year old Leonard Takahashi-Fry of Murrays Bay Sailing Club/Wakatere Boating Club. Leonard drew ahead of his competitors by sailing a very consistent series, with only one race outside the top ten placings. It's a meteoric rise for the young sailor, who placed around 80th at the Optimist Nationals at Whitianga last year.

Leonard's began sailing at Murrays Bay SC and his first Optimist National Championship was two years ago at Worser Bay in Wellington when he was in the Green fleet. In 2010 he joined the NZ Sailing Academy based out of Narrow Neck Beach and spent the year attending several international events. In 2011 Leonard also became a member of Wakatere BC, since January he has been training twice weekly after his school day is done, as well as on Saturday and Sunday with World Optimist Champion and coach Chris Steele, along with training partners Markus Somerville, Isaac McHardie and Tim Adair.

Leonard is also involved in a number of other sports including athletics, basketball, and has National titles in Ballroom and Latin dancing.

In second place is Isaac McHardie of Hamilton/Tauranga who also sailed a consistent series, earlier this year Isaac won the prestigious Tanner Cup representing the province of Waikato in the P Class, Isaac also became a member of Wakatere and Chris Steele's training squad half way through this season; and in third place is local Wakatere BC sailor Markus Somerville who competed at the Worlds last year. Takahashi-Fry, McHardie and Somerville make up the 2011 New Zealand Optimist World Championship team along with fourth placed William McKenzie of Kohimarama YC and fifth placed Nathaniel Deverell of the Bay of Islands.

The series concluded with three races beginning later in the day as a mark of respect for ANZAC day and the full quota of 14 races scheduled for the series were sailed. The race committee was headed by Napier's Gerald Martin, his team from Napier and Mike Drummond, Grant Beck and Derek Snow of Wakatere Club, who all worked very hard over five days to achieve this as this regatta is the largest single class regatta in New Zealand with 310 boats racing, it is the selection regatta for the New Zealand World Championship Optimist team, and it has also been used as a test run for the 2011 World Championship to be held in Napier at the end of this year.

On the final day conditions were wet, with moderate north easterly winds coming onshore which gusted up to 18 knots as rain squalls blew through. With the outgoing tide the sea whipped up into a one metre chop typical of the inner harbour. Eleven year old Blake Nicholson, first-time open fleeter from Murrays Bay, confirmed that the tide was a dominant factor throughout the regatta. At times it was quite difficult to find a space on the startline, especially with 65 boats, as the tide was pushed the boats towards a particular end of the line.

The prizegiving was attended by a huge crowd of sailors and friends: we were lucky enough to once again have role model and sailing hero Dean Barker to hand out the prizes; legendary sports comentator Peter Montgomery was also kind enough to MC; Mike Drummond not only helped on the race course but also awarded the top sailors a trip on Oracle's AC45; past NZIODA president Nigel Rippey handed over his role to Leslie Egnot and spoke of his involvement in the World Championship coming up in Napier at the end of this year.

We would like to thank all those who helped make the regatta possible - there are too many to name, but in particular Wakatere BC members working on the beach on and on the water, sponsors, parents, supporters and most importantly, all of those sailors who were such a delight to work with.

For full results go to the results page.

In the near future we will post a list of the category winners such as age group, international sailor and more. We will also post photographs taken at the prizegiving as soon as possible.

Above: Isaac McHardie

Above: Markus Somerville

Above: William McKenzie

Above: Nathaniel Deverell

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19 & 20 April
Opening Ceremony
Assemble outside clubrooms
3 pm, Wed 20 April
All briefings in marquee:

Open Sailors briefing

4 pm Wed 20 April

Open Support Boat briefing
4.30pm Wed 20 April

Open & Green
Official Boats &
Rescue Boats briefing
5 pm Wed 20 April
Open Coaches/Team
leaders briefing

5.30 pm Wed 20 April

Open Fleet racing

21-25 April

Green Sailors briefing
Thurs 21 April

Green Fleet racing
21-25 April

Teams Racing
19 & 20 April
For more details go to the NOR