Please select your home edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

NZ Optimist and Starling Nationals: Light winds challenge organisers and sailors

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World 19 Apr 01:48 BST 19 April 2022
One of the Optimist fleets gets underway on the final day - 2022 Combined Optimist and Starling NZ Championships - April 2022 - Napier Sailing Club © Wakatere Boating Club

Light winds have proved to be a challenge for regatta organisers and sailors at the Optimist and Starling Nationals being sailed over the Easter Weekend at Napier Sailing Club.

The strong easterlies which have battered Auckland and Northland for the last two days of the Easter weekend, have not progressed to Napier.

To date only six races have been sailed, with no racing possible on Monday due to the non-arrival of a sailable breeze. Five races are required to constitute a minimum series.

For Tuesday, the final day of the regatta, four races have been scheduled, meaning that all going well the regatta will consist of ten races - two short of the 12 races scheduled.

Predictwind is reporting light winds at the venue today, probably sufficient to get racing underway, if not completing the shortened 10 race series.

Today, Tuesday will see the Open Optimist fleet split into Gold and Silver fleets for the final races.

That split will pit the two top sailors, Wakatere BC's William Mason against Charteris Bay YC's Will Leech competing in the same fleet. The two sailors dominated the Qualification Round emerging with six and four race wins respectively, but with a discard race permitted they go into the final day separated by just a single point.

The two are continuing their battle from the Auckland Championships, sailed at Mason's home club, also plagued by uncooperative winds. In that series Mason emerged as the Auckland Champion by just 5pts on net (discard) score and only a single point after total points were counted. In that series both sailors while scoring consistently near the front of the fleet, also managed to stumble into double digit places, each in a couple of different races, and a transgression of that magnitude by one and not the other, on the final day, will decide the series.

As expected following the Auckland Championships, Nelson Meacham, has improved dramatically to lie closer to the top of the leaderboard going into the final day. He is third overall 6pts behind Will Leech with Oli Stone (Kohimarama YC) 3rd overall in the Auckland Championships, in fourth, 3pts begin Meacham.

Tessa Clinton (Wakatere BC) is the top female on the leaderboard, lying in 14th place. She placed 4th in the Auckland Championships.

No one club is dominating the series, with Wakatere (four sailors) Charteris Bay (two sailors), Kohimarama (two sailors), Napier and Murrays Bay SC have one sailor each in the top ten overall.

The series has attracted a big fleet with 98 Optimists in the Open fleet, 15 in the White fleet and 70 in the Green fleet.

In the Starling fleet, the results of the Auckland Championship in early February, have been turned inside out, with Marcel van der Voort (Kohimarama YC) holding a narrow 1pt lead over Winston Liesebach (Napier) with Sean Kensington (Kohimarama YC) five points back in third. Auckland Champion Tom Pilkington (Wakatere BC) who dominated the regatta winning by a 24pt margin, is back in 6th place overall, but is only 11pts adrift from the lead in what is a very tightly contested fleet.

van der Voort finished 9th overall in the Auckland Championships, with Liesebach placing 5th overall.

Unfortunately no official reports are available of either the Starling or Optimist Nationals.

Related Articles

Chichester Harbour Race Week preview
Last year saw 383 boats crewed by almost 600 sailors from 65 clubs The UK's pre-eminent sailing harbour will again be the setting for the country's most well-attended open regatta when Chichester Harbour Race Week takes to the water this August. Posted on 28 Jun
2022 Optimist d'Argento Trophy overall
Ginevra Rovaglia and Lorenzo Ghirotti category winners A very long day was the final day of the 47th Optimist d'Argento Trophy-Turazza Trophy, organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with Optimist Italia, Federazione Italiana Vela and Consorzio Garda Trentino Vela. Posted on 25 Jun
2022 Optimist d'Argento Trophy preview
Over 250 children from 13 nations set to compete on Lake Garda These are the elements that will characterise the Optimist d'Argento Trophy, an event organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the Italian Sailing Federation, the Optimist Italia class and the Garda Trentino Vela Consortium. Posted on 22 Jun
Beck Brill wins International Optimist Regatta
Good starts, consistent finishes, and having fun in St. Thomas Good starts, consistent finishes, and having fun is what led the USA's Beck Brill to win the 29th International Optimist Regatta (IOR), hosted at St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC), June 17 to 19. Posted on 20 Jun
Team CRYC Spectra wins TOTE Team Racing
94 junior sailors ready to sail in the 29th International Optimist Regatta Good starts, getting ahead, and covering competitors proved the winning strategy for Team CRYC (Coral Reef Yacht Club), which won the TOTE Team Racing Championships on Thursday. Posted on 17 Jun
First sustainable and recyclable Optimist launched
The ecoOptimist dinghy is the first recyclable sailing boat of the Optimist class Northern Light Composites and not-for-profit Clean Sailors team up to launch the world's first sustainable and recyclable Optimist for young sailors and sailing schools, globally, supported by OneSails and Swiss clean-tech company, Bcomp™. Posted on 16 Jun
Parkstone Yacht Club Optimist Open
Incorporating the IOCA South West Regional Championship 2022 Parkstone Yacht Club was once again host to the Optimist South West Regional Championships on 4 and 5 June, welcoming 80 young sailors for two days of racing and fun over the Queen's Jubilee weekend. Posted on 15 Jun
29th International Optimist Regatta kicks off
The biggest annual little-boat regatta in the Caribbean Photo: Optimists launch from the beach at the host St. Thomas Yacht Club in the 2021 IOR. Credit: Dean Barnes Posted on 13 Jun
RLymYC Junior Sailors shine
At the Lymington Optimist Open The 2022 Lymington Optimist Open took place at Royal Lymington Yacht Club (RLymYC) on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. The regatta is a popular annual event in the International Optimist Class Association (IOCA) calendar. Posted on 8 Jun
NE & Yorkshire Youth Travellers at Covenham
ILCA 6s battle it out like jet fighters from the movie Top Gun True to the name of the series, on Saturday 28th May 2022, sixteen sailors from five regional clubs travelled to Covenham SC, for the fifth event in the North East & Yorkshire Youth Traveller Series. Posted on 2 Jun