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