Optimist NSW State Championship

After great lead up work and training from Locky and the coaches, RSYS Youth Sailing assembled a big fleet of Opti sailors to head up the M1 to Gosford for the Annual State Championship.

TJ Ly pulled on the RSYS bib for his first regatta, so big congratulations to him, he did really well.  Unfortunately injuries to three of our team left us with 17 at the starting gun. Heavy rain Friday night and Saturday morning made for a muddy boat park, however the skies cleared and the wind blew for terrific conditions by the first signal on Saturday. 

The Open fleet were in their 3rd race on Saturday before a very strong southerly, gusting well over 20 knots, blew up Brisbane Waters and had its way with the fleet. Luckily the Intermediate and Green fleets were already safely ashore. Harriet McLachlan was the top girl in Intermediates on day 1, and Connor Warner and Benedict McKay had a great first day in the Opens.

Sunday started early after the premature finish on Saturday. The first gun was at 10am, again with superb conditions of 10-12 knots, though with a slightly strong (for the Green fleet ) southerly with a bit of a nip to it, so all sailors rugged up.

Stirling McKay showed real class in Green, but they all sailed really well and as always learnt a lot with time on the water.

A special mention to RSYS sailor Nick Kellaher in Green fleet: he won the Sportsmanship award for pulling out of a race and circling RSYS sailor Abby Tattersall in his boat when she was in trouble, blowing his whistle to attract the attention of the coach boat and staying with her until they came over. As a result he didn’t have time to finish the race, but that didn’t bother him a bit. This fantastic effort is wonderful and Nick is highly commended for his great efforts and tremendous values.

In Intermediates, Harriet worked hard and just held on to her top 10 position, winning the trophy for highest placed female sailor, with Ben Tattersall and Maddie and Kate Atkinson showing great improvement and good results from their hard work. They will be a real threat in future regattas.

In Opens our team worked hard for some mixed results. Benedict and Spencer McKay showed their class and experience and were the top RSYS sailors at the end of the weekend and big congratulations to them, both having a better second day. 

Congratulations to Gosford Sailing Club who ran a great regatta all weekend and were terrific hosts. The location, management and organization could not be faulted. 

The Summer season finishes soon, and then we move to Winter training, the East Coast Championships in June and State Youths in September. The Squadron looks forward to hosting a Travellers Trophy Regatta for the Optis in late August.

By Richard McLachlan