by Mark Clough
The count down is on for the 2011 Optimist Nationals, with only six weeks to go until the Wakatere Boating Club in Narrow Neck Beach, Auckland, host sailors from around the country and the world as they go head to head in an outstanding sailing event over Easter weekend. Plans are well underway to make this event one that both the New Zealand and international sailing communities won’t forget.
The Optimist Nationals have attained immense international interest and will include sailors from Korea, Japan, Singapore and the entire Australian worlds team, making it a fantastic preview event to the World Optimist Championships being held in Napier at the end of the year.
Dean Barker from Team New Zealand has confirmed his support of the event. Competitors and their supporters will be able to hear from the inspirational sailor at the opening ceremony and catch him giving out some amazing prizes at the closing ceremony.
The Edge radio station is also on board with the event providing entertainment throughout the weekend, sending out live feeds to those who can’t make it and will be MC-ing the opening ceremony. Live video feeds from the water will also be a first for the event.
For all the competitors who participate, an amazing spot prize list is being coordinated; including brand new North’s sails, a ride on the new Team NZ Volvo70 and a tour of the Team NZ base with more being announced soon!
- The 2011 Toyota New Zealand Optimist National Championships will be held from the 20-25 April 2011 at Narrow Neck Beach, Devonport in Auckland.
- The event is being hosted by the Wakatere Boating Club, (founded in 1926) in conjunction with the New Zealand International Optimist Dinghy Association (NZIODA).
- The International Optimist class is a breeding ground for the development of and continued growth of New Zealand’s sailing talent pool.
- Toyota have once again taken this opportunity to gain national exposure to a wide range of people by giving their financial support, Toyota are principal sponsor and have been awarded naming rights.
- The event also has local exposure and support from the North Shore City Council, with the Council contributing both financially and through planning and information resources.
- Other significant sponsorships are in negotiations with leading NZ corporates.
- The national regatta will host over 350 sailors ranging in age from 9 to 15 years of age, with an attendance in excess of 2000 people including family, supporters and volunteers.
- This event will not only serve to select the group of sailors that will represent New Zealand at several international events, but also be seen by the wider international Optimist community as an opportunity to spend some time in New Zealand in preparation for the Optimist Worlds that will be held in Napier from December 31st 2011-January 10th 2012.
Wakatere Boating Club