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2020 Tasmanian Optimist State Championship and Green Fleet Regatta - Preview

by Jane Austin 27 Feb 22:47 GMT 29 February - 1 March 2020
Tasmanian Optimist State Championship and Green Fleet Regatta © Jane Austin

The River Derwent will come alive this weekend with young sailors contesting the 2020 Tasmanian Optimist State Championship and Green Fleet Regatta.

The event is hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in conjunction with the Tasmanian International Optimist Dinghy Association and is sponsored by Musto and Peter Johnston Ship Chandlers.

So far the event has attracted nearly 50 entries, a big increase from 2019. The more experienced sailors will compete in up to eight races in the Optimist Open and Intermediate fleets.

The younger and less experienced sailors who may not be up to the competitiveness and rigors of racing in the bigger fleets, will sail in up to 10 races in the Green Fleet Regatta, where the emphasis is on fun and participation in a State Championship.

There will be some intense competition on the racecourse especially in the Open Fleet which includes 2019 winners from the Green and Intermediate Fleets stepping up this year.

Harry Pilkington and Fredi O'Donoghue were first male and female sailors respectively in the Intermediate Fleet in 2019 and will be keen to demonstrate their skill in the Open fleet this year, while Tom Fader (12 years), who finished in first place in the Green fleet in 2019, is excited to be testing his skills against some likely contenders for the Tasmanian State Champion.

"The move to the Open fleet is a bit crazy but it's definitely a lot more fun because there are more sailors and the competition is harder. I think that the strongest competition in the fleet will be from Adelaide O'Donoghue (first female in the Open Fleet in 2019), Charlie Pavlides, Sebie Price and Emily Polson, but I'm looking forward to giving the States my best shot," said Fader.

The International Optimist Dinghy Class is growing in numbers and strength in Tasmania which was evident in the recent National Championship sailed in Victoria where Tasmanian boasted the highest number of Optimists for all states across all divisions.

This is testament to the high calibre of coaching offered to the Class during the year and also during the Green Fleet Regatta where the sailors experience shore and on-water based skills coaching, shore and on-water games and scored racing.

More information at ryct.org.au/sailing/opti-states-2020

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