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Optimist Development Team

Regatta results 15 races were sailed with George Gautrey the top placed Kiwi sailor finishing 6th overall and first 11 year old - well done George! Next were Alex Wotton (8th), Nick Egnot-Johnson (9th), Cameron Moss (10th), Sam Broome (13th), Patrick Haybittle (14th), Alastair Gifford (15th), Ellie Lane (16th), Travers Cole (18th), Kim Buchanen (20th) and Scott Inglis (22nd). There were a couple of siblings who enjoyed the warmer weather and breezes and entered the regatta as well. 
Check out Facebook for heaps more photos and daily reports.
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Wednesday 4th November Team had a bit of a sleep in, well tried (6.30am the sun is up and hot). Some went off for a walk and a explore then we all meet at 10am at the beach for a team windsurf. All kids did really well, with a few wipe outs and face plants but all came up with huge smiles. 2 hours later, we finished the session with a race with young George taking it out, followed by Patrick, Alex and William. With a sort 300m walk back ‘home’ the Opti mums had our lunch ready followed by a race briefing and we packed into the vans and headed out for a free sail in 20knts of breeze for a hour to get the team focused and ready for tomorrows racing.
Everyone came in buzzing loving the wind and long reach, just like Wellington! This was everyone apart from coach Briar in her Somali Pirate boat, which cut out about 10 times during that hour and almost ended up having to get the French windsurf coach to save her from the rocks. 
That's all for now, race day tomorrow.
Go Kiwis!  

Tuesday 3rd November Training Day Update. The team had a morning drill session and an afternoon race session. They trained with all the Noumean’s learning the French drills and wind patterns. Like “smell the sea - go right,smell the bbq (off the land) - go left!”  Kids all wanted to “pat” the snakes found on the rocks at the club! Apparently they are harmless but.... We checked out Pierre’s Proa he has built, an odd forward/backward traditional Pacific Island sailing outrigger. He says it can do 18 knts but flips over a lot! One of the boats had almost a major breakage with a lose mast cup. Lucky it was spotted by a a keen Opti mum. A replacement opti found, stripped of old gear and rerigged in a record time by our Opti Dad “pit crew”.
Tuesday was pizza night! After a big day a relaxed but noisy dinner was well deserved. The French language is rubbing off, we are still just at the “bonjour, merci” stage but every one is speaking english with the accent... “Alllo, allo...  Ow are you?” 
Meanwhile Briar, Dave, Brian and Richard met with the race officials to translate the French Race Rules and make sure we understand them. Also make sure we have all the gear as per the international class rules, like whistles and paddles. (surely they make enough noise without them!!). The course will be trapeziod with either inner or outer loops.

Monday 2nd November Eight parents got down to the club at around 9am to sort out the boat charters and suss out the lay of the land. All the boats were in good condition. Most sailors bought their own pulleys and main sheets. A few boats needed a little TLC. Bungies for hiking straps and centre board teflon tape. All 14 boats were set up by lunchtime. Meanwhile all the young sailors went to Bais Des Citrons for a swim to the swimming platforms. A few bombs and horseplay followed by a game of beach soccer. Midmorning Nick, George and Patrick went windsurfing.
After lunch Briar took the sailors out sailing for two hours. The Kiwis joined in with the Noumeans doing starts, mark roundings, up wind beats and downwinds. Upwind speed and hiking technique looked good. Need to work on bearing away at the top mark and catching that first wave downwind.
Tomorrow they will have a nutritional talk at 8am by a local lady. Then sailing at 9am until lunch. A short sail after lunch. After sailing the group  may have a ‘Mark Foy Race’ at the local ‘Learn to Windsurf School’. Watch out Tom Ashley! There is a group of kids here ready to go to the ‘dark side’ 

Team had a bit of a sleep in, well tried (6.30am the sun is up and hot). Some went off for a walk and a explore then we all meet at 10am at the beach for a team windsurf. All kids did really well, with a few wipe outs and face plants but all came up with huge smiles. 2 hours later, we finished the session with a race with young George taking it out, followed by Patrick, Alex and William. With a sort 300m walk back ‘home’ the Opti mums had our lunch ready followed by a race briefing and we packed into the vans and headed out for a free sail in 20knts of breeze for a hour to get the team focused and ready for tomorrows racing. Everyone came in buzzing loving the wind and long reach, just like Wellington. This was everyone apart from coach Briar in her Somali Pirate boat, which cut out about 10 times during that hour and almost ended up having to get the French windsurf coach to save her from the rocks. 

Thats all for now, race day tomorrow. Go Kiwis! 

Bon voyage to the NZ Optimist development team of 11 young sailors who are off to Noumea this week to compete in the New Caledonian Nationals. The sailors are George Gautrey, Kim Buchanan, Patrick Haybittle, Travers Cole, Ellie Lane, Alex Wotton, Scott Inglis, Alastair Gifford, Sam Broome, Nick Egnot-Johnson, Cameron Moss.   We're hoping to have reports & photos here from the team during their 10 day adventure so keep watching.... 

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