Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Laser World Champ works with Opti sailors at YNZ's 3-day coaching clinics

by Michael Brown/YNZ 13 Jan 04:30 GMT
Wakatere BC - YNZ Optimist coaching clinic - January © Richard Gladwell - Sail-World.com/nz

The Optimist scene is still one of the main breeding grounds for New Zealand's sailors and over the past month nearly 100 youngsters have been learning off world champions, SailGP sailors and world championship-winning coaches.

Last month 24 young sailors took part in the three-day NZIODA South Island clinic hosted by the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club and this week the Wakatere Boating Club are playing host to 72 Opti sailors from around New Zealand.

The North Island one is traditionally held at Eastern Beaches, with sailors staying over at Willow Park, but uncertainty brought about by Covid-19 saw organisers reluctantly change plans and cancel the live-in aspect of the event. This is often one of the highlights of the week, with many developing life-long friends, but the same high-level coaching and mentoring is still on offer.

New ILCA 7 (Laser) world champion Tom Saunders is among the 12 coaches this week, along with New Zealand SailGP Team member Liv Mackay and Orestes Reyes, who has coached Optimist sailors to world and intercontinental titles.

"I get a lot of enjoyment out of coaching," said Saunders, who is due to coach the New Zealand team at this year's Optimist world championships. "It forces me to think about what I do [as a sailor], and trying to explain that to the kids in a simplified way can be quite challenging.

"I get a lot out of it and a couple of things here and there can go a long way for kids at this level. I also take a lot of satisfaction out of seeing their progression."

As well as the on-water coaching, there are various sessions on things like preparing for a peak event, starting routines, nutrition and fitness.

Both clinics are supported by the OWNZ Trust, who provide Optis for a number of out-of-town sailors and a financial contribution to support the fleet.

Yachting New Zealand youth and event manager Sam Mackay, who also doubles as NZIODA head coach, has been the chief organiser for the event and remembers when he attended the Eastern Beaches camp as an aspiring young sailor 15 years ago. Mackay went on to sail for New Zealand at two Optimist world championships and said the camp was a formative experience in his development.

"I remember having the Olympic sailors at the time coaching it and also having the likes of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox [who were top Optimist sailors] come in and coach even though they had been out of Opti for a few years. I idolised those people so it was pretty motivating.

"It was also about the friends you make, the stuff you get up to off the water. Those become the friends you make for the rest of your junior and youth sailing career.

"I hope [the sailors this week] make a few mates, take one or two things from every coach and enjoy themselves. It's always intense, with big days and they will be shattered by the end of it but hopefully they learn lots to take back to their clubs and put into practice."

The Auckland Championships for the Optimist and Starling classes will take place at Waitangi Weekend, February 5-7 for further information and entries for further information and entries. Last day for entries is January 31, 2022.

Related Articles

Tom Saunders named Male & NZ Sailor of the Year
Womens WASZP champion Elise Beavis is named Aon Female Sailor of the Year Tom Saunders won the big prize, the Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year Award, at the annual Aon Yachting Excellence Awards on Friday. Posted on 18 Nov
Waka Huia wins North Sails Young 88 Owners title
Waka Huia wins North Sails Y88 Owners Regatta despite breaking tiller Waka Huia owner, Nick Gillies, thought his chances of winning the North Sails Young 88 Northern Owners Championships had shattered along with the tiller he broke on the eve of the regatta. Posted on 16 Nov
Kiwi wins Bronze Medal at Para Sailing Worlds
John Buchanan finished third at the recent World Para Sailing Championships in Japan John Buchanan finished third at the recent World Para Sailing Championships in Japan as para sailing looks to return to the Paralympic Games. Posted on 2 Nov
Kiwi windfoilers show form at Worlds
New Zealand sailors performed well at the recent iQFoil world championships in Brest New Zealand sailors performed well at the recent iQFoil world championships in Brest, with Veerle ten Have making the Medal Race, and Josh Armit winning five of his 14 races. Posted on 27 Oct
Takapuna top qualifier at Sec Schools Nats
Takapuna Grammar went through as top qualifiers after the double round robin at the Nat Sec Schools Takapuna Grammar went through as top qualifiers after the double round robin, along with Glendowie College and Napier Boys' High School. None of those schools have ever won the national title. Posted on 6 Oct
NZL Sailing Team: Strong Kiwi result on Final day
Kiwis make a strong statement, in 49er, FX and Nacra 17 classes, 24 months out from Paris2024 Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie were New Zealand's best performed crew at the combined 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds in Nova Scotia, Canada which concluded after six days of racing. Six New Zealand crews competed in the three Olympic classes. Posted on 5 Sep
NZL Sailing Team: Medals on Kiwi menu - Day 5
Top two Kiwis 49er crews will be on the hunt for medals in tomorrow's final day of the Worlds New Zealand's top two 49er crews will be on the hunt for medals in tomorrow's final day of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Canada. Posted on 5 Sep
NZL Sailing Team: 5 Kiwi crews in Top 10 - Day 4
Five Kiwi combinations are still in the top 10 of their various fleets with two days of racing left The fourth day of competition saw the return of a sea breeze, which proved a lot more comfortable for most after the tricky offshore conditions of the previous day, but it also meant it tightened up the racing as crews fought for every point. Posted on 4 Sep
NZL Sailing Team: 5 Kiwi crews in Top 10 - Day 3
Five New Zealand crews are in the top 10 halfway through the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds The wind changed direction in Nova Scotia, mixing up the leaderboards with it, and it now means five New Zealand crews are in the top 10 halfway through the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships. Posted on 3 Sep
Kiwi49erFX crews fifth and sixth o'all - Day 2
Encouraging signs from NZ's top 49erFX combinations at the world championships - Day 2 There were encouraging signs from New Zealand's top 49erFX combinations at the World Championships in Nova Scotia, with both crews firmly entrenched in the top 10 after the second day of action. Posted on 2 Sep