European Champs – Day 2

2011 European Optimist Championships

Tuesday 5 July – Second Days Racing

Hi everyone – just a quick update on the 2nd days racing here in Tavira, Portugal.

Another beautiful clear blue sky day with the breeze doing its now familiar switch from an overnight offshore breeze to a building southwesterly on shore breeze by late morning. (it’s quite good that the breeze turns offshore – as the waste water ponds are located close behind the hotel and the somewhat whiffy air starts to dissipate with the onset of the onshore breeze).

The breeze built quietly through the morning to a nice 10 – 12 knot onshore breeze by the classically European start time of 2.00 pm. No early morning kick offs here!

The team launched about 12.30 pm in the separate waves of sailors that we are becoming used to. With something over 225 boats launching through one single ramp the sailors are called forward to launch by their flights and in groups on 10 or so at a time – in the manner of boarding a large aircraft.

Interestingly the sailors are not even allowed to leave their country compounds until their flight has been called. Several premature departures from their country compounds this morning resulted in some full on ‘compound rage’ from a parent of nordic descent and it also attracted several protests from the race committee – still to be heard this evening.

The nordic compound rage was at one stage directed at one of our younger quieter sailors – Nick Egnot Johnson – who refused to yield his ground. Good on ya Nick.

Following the fun on the shore the sailing on the water wasn’t quite as entertaining but Lola continues to have a strong regatta with an 11th and 22nd placing to leave her lying 17th overall in the girls fleet.

She is showing good consistency in her positions which will stand her in good stead towards the end of the regatta.

Cole was consistent in his placings today as well – scoring 2 solid positions in the 20s (26th and 23rd) to lie 70th overall. A big jump up the fleet from his overnight place of 89th and a great effort considering that he was not feeling at all well when leaving the ramp – but he guts’d it out for his solid placings.

Zak had a tougher day with a 32nd and 42nd but came ashore with the great attitude of “I haven’t done so well today but there’s always tomorrow”. Zak is fast becoming personality of the regatta with him forming several friendships amongst other teams. A great ambassador for New Zealand. Zak is lying 66th at this stage.

Nick EJ had an up and down day with a disappointing 44th in the first race after being crook and vomiting several times but bounced back in the 2nd race to score a nice 8th position (which he reckons tallied nicely with his 8 chunders). Nick is lying 49th.

We should have some on the water pictures tomorrow as some of the parents hope to hire a spectator boat and get afloat to watch some of the action.

Overall this regatta is proving to be a wonderful experience for the kids. Results are not yet what all the sailors might have hoped for but we’ve got to remember that this event is yet another stepping stone for these guys and girls in their sailing careers – all being relatively young sailors with a long time in the sport yet to come.

More to come tomorrow. Possibly 3 races and hopefully a good breeze again.


Lola, Zak, Cole and Nick.

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