Monday, 25 April 2011

NZ Toyota Optimist Nationals - Day 2

AUS 720 Christopher Charlwood, placed first at the end of Racing Day 2. Image copyright Will Calver/

Isaac McHardie of Hamilton, placed second overall at the close of Racing Day 2. Image copyright Will Calver/

by Christine Snow-Hansen

Racing got underway in earnest on day two of the Toyota Optimist National Championships off Wakatere Boating Club.

In the morning a moderate 8 - 10 knot north easterly was coming in onto the beach causing small waves, the sky was over-caste with a hint of rain, and there was a lot of activity going on amongst the 310 sailors competing in the event.

A large chop developed as the wind and tide fought each other in the afternoon. Image copyright Will Calver/

With the help of parents and supporters our young sailors left the beach at 9 am and the Open fleet headed a bit south to their course off Fort Takapuna, while the Green fleet went back to their patch towards the north. And of course the sailors were followed by an armada of approximately 80 inflatable support boats.

Variable weather conditions. Image copyright Will Calver/

Before long the wind had picked up and a strong squall went through as the Open fleet sailed the first of their 14 race series. This was to be the first of many, on a day when the weather threw everything it had at the sailors. The wind peaked at gusts of around 22 knots, there were patches with 3 or 4 knots, horizontal rain, waves and, of course, the infamous Wakatere tide.

AUS 565 Alistair Young, placed third at the end of Racing Day 2. Image copyright Will Calver/

The Open fleet got three races in and the regatta is currently lead by Christopher Charlwood of Australia, second is Isaac McHardie of Hamilton, and third Alistair Young of Australia.

A gusty squall hits the course along with heavy rain. Image copyright Will Calver/

The Green fleet also managed to get two races away in the challenging conditions and came back to shore in the early afternoon to enjoy pasta, shelter from the rain and prepare for three more days of racing.

Inclement weather! Image copyright Will Calver/

Wakatere Boating Club