Smiles all round at Opti States

The 2021 NSW State Championship for International Optimist Dinghies was held at RPAYC, Newport on 20-21 March.

Richard McLachlan writes, ‘Five regular RSYS Optimist dinghy sailors traveled up to compete;  two Open sailors: Harriet (in her last Opti regatta) and Raphael, two Intermediates: Rory and Paddy, and one Green fleet sailor: Olivia.  Club numbers are rebuilding after the disruptive effects of Covid in 2020, also several sailors had moved clubs and/or aged out. Spencer and Stirling Mackay also sailed under several clubs’ flags including the Squadron.

The weather predictions were not benign for Opti sailors: 20-30 knot winds and up to 40 knot gusts, with constant heavy rain forecast to make things unpleasant for the parental support. Whilst winds were strong and gusty, luckily they were less than predicted, and there were six races for Opens and four for Intermediates. Unfortunately Green fleet were mostly kept off the water as conditions were deemed too strong, nevertheless they did get a sail on Sunday afternoon, after some time in the RIBs watching and learning from the other fleets.

The Open Fleet was very competitive. Congratulations to the regatta winner Aiden Simmons from IHYC (VIC), and Spencer McKay (for RSYS, CS & WSC) who finished second; to the first and second girls, Sara Bruce from RPAYC and Hanako Tomishima from WSC. Congratulations to Raphael Mak from HHSC who took out the Intermediate fleet honours.

Our thanks to Mina Ferguson who coached the RSYS team all weekend and dealt superbly with some challenging conditions, bringing all our sailors in safely with smiling faces, and also to Rory’s mum Tash for making sure Mina had an RSYS RIB to use all weekend.

Photos by Richard McLachlan and Tash Miller