Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

USA's Gil Hackel leads 2021 Opti Worlds

by Talbot Wilson 7 Jul 20:14 BST 30 June - 10 July 2021
USA's Gil Hackel leads the 2021 Optimist World Championship after day 4 © Matias Capizzano / www.capizzano.com

Gil Hackel (Gulf Breeze, Fl) has climbed into first place in the International Optimist Dinghy World Championship with a first and a second-place finish on Wednesday. His score line - 2-2-2-(9)-4-1-2 - reflects the total consistency of his sailing.

Gil, now 13, started his young career at the age of five sailing at Pensacola YC and has sailed many regattas representing the internationally competitive Lauderdale YC team.

With the solid 1-2 finishes Wednesday, Gil jumped from fourth into first place and leads Weka Bhanubandh of Thailand by eight points 13 to 21 after each has dropped their worst score. Following in third is Alex di Francesco Kuhl of Brazil with 26 net points. The schedule continues with racing Thursday and Friday if conditions allow. So far two races a day have been sailed except for one day when only one was raced because of bad weather.

All five of the USA sailors in the competition, who spent weeks training out of Pensacola this spring qualified to sail in the Gold/Championship Fleet. Follow the results and individual race tracking on https://2021worlds.optiworld.org/en/default/races/race.

According to the Notice of Race: "12 races are scheduled with a maximum of three races per day. One extra race per day may be sailed." The committee could make up the lost race by sailing three races one day and two the next.

Pensacola YC Sailing Director Cesar Travado, from Spain, is familiar with the sailing conditions on Lake Garda. He thinks they won't be able to get in more than two races a day. He noted, "The typical lake wind (from the South) is not filling in until 2-3 PM, later than previous days. To make three races the committee would have to start racing at 1PM but there is no wind or a light northerly, maybe. I do not see that as an option."

However, the Race Committee made an official announcement at 7pm in Italy... "It is the intention of the Race Committee for Thursday, July 8 to run three races for each fleet."

There are four fleets, the Gold/Championship fleet and three more. That's a total pf eight starts and races per flight and probably not enough time after the wind fills in for an extra set of starts. We'll see. It is an option that leaves the door open to complete the full schedule of 12 races.

Gil's parents, Melissa and Dr. Josh Hackel, are there to watch but not with their son. The team has been sequestered by their coach to keep them focused. Melissa Hackel commented, "Very nervous..." After reviewing the race tracker that shows where each boat sails, she added, "Lordy, hard to watch."

All updates on the racing are being published on the Optimist World Championship 2021 website at 2021worlds.optiworld.org

Related Articles

Derbyshire Youth Sailing at Carsington
Happy to see a lot of sailors who were not only new to DYS but also to racing Saturday 11th September saw our sailors back at Carsington Sailing Club for our ninth event of this years series, the biggest water we visit, so a new experience for some. Posted on 14 Sep
RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships
137 youth and junior sailors take part at Carrickfergus Excitement was in the air at Carrickfergus Sailing Club this weekend as more than 137 of Northern Ireland's Youth and Junior sailors took to the water to compete in the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships. Posted on 14 Sep
RLymYC Youth Week 2021
Over 144 children take part in four fleets With over 144 children entered in four fleets, RLymYC Youth Week 2021, sponsored by Walhampton, was a huge success both on and off the water. Posted on 9 Sep
27th Broadland Youth Regatta
100 youth and junior sailors race on the Norfolk Broads 100 youth and junior sailors in 93 boats from seven Broadland Clubs took part in the 27th Broadland Youth Regatta on 4th September at Wroxham Broad, hosted by Norfolk Broads Yacht Club on behalf of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association. Posted on 8 Sep
Scottish Junior Optimist Travellers at Bardowie
Brilliant sunshine and more wind than expected Clyde Cruising Club (Dinghy Section) were the generous hosts for the first Traveller event of the 2021/22 series, providing not only the wonderful setting of Bardowie Loch but also brilliant sunshine and more wind than expected. Posted on 7 Sep
Barnt Green Optimist Open
Second event of the Midlands Traveller Series With just enough time since lockdown ended for some new sailors to learn enough to join the racing, the turnout of new sailors was great with 19 in the regatta fleet and ten in main fleet. Posted on 6 Sep
Starcross Yacht Club Junior Regatta
With full timetable of beach games, camp-overs and discos An energetic fleet of 38 children took place in the inaugural Starcross YC junior regatta, held on the river Exe over four days from 14-17 August. The format of the event was 2-3 short races each day. Posted on 18 Aug
Island Barn Reservoir Optimist Open
16 boats take part in two fleets Island Barn hosted its first Optimist Open in recent years. 16 boats took part across the Championship fleet and Coached Regatta fleet. There were a total of six races with a break in the middle for some lunch and a debrief for the Regatta fleet. Posted on 30 Jul
GBR Optimist Team at the World Championships
Winning silver fleet on an extended trip to Garda The team of the five top competitors from the four-day Selections Trials, held back in May, consisted of one girl and four boys. They were accompanied by Coach Ollie Hill, experienced with taking teams internationally. Posted on 29 Jul
Midland SC Optimist Open
First travellers event held on the hottest day of the year so far The 2021 Midland Travellers Series for the Optimist class kicked off on the hottest day of the year so far at a new venue for the class, Midland Sailing Club on Edgebaston Reservoir in central Birmingham. Posted on 19 Jul