Everything from starts and speed to preparation for peak events was covered at last week’s North Island Optimist clinic held at the Wakatere Boating Club
The annual NZIODA clinic is normally held at Eastern Beaches, with the young sailors staying at Willow Park, but uncertainty around Auckland’s Covid-19 status meant organisers opted to hold the event at Wakatere.
It saw 72 youngsters from around New Zealand descend on Wakatere, where they received tutelage from some of the country’s best coaches and followed on from last month’s NZIODA South Island clinic hosted by the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club.
New ILCA 7 (Laser) world champion Tom Saunders was among the 12 coaches last week, along with New Zealand SailGP Team member Liv Mackay and Orestes Reyes, who has coached Optimist sailors to world and intercontinental titles.
“We had a fantastic week out on the water,” said Sam Mackay NZIODA head coach who is also the Yachting New Zealand youth and event manager. “We had a great group of coaches, so hopefully all of the sailors took something away from the week and are better prepared to get the best out of themselves.
”Orestes gave two very good talks about boat handling and boat speed and based it on what some of the top sailors around the world are doing, so it was great to hear what is happening overseas. It was pretty insightful and should have given everyone some things to work on with some big events coming up.”
NZIODA hopes to be able to send New Zealand teams to international regattas in 2022 after making the difficult decision to opt out of that in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. Those teams will be selected from results from April’s nationals in Napier and the Inter-Islander ranking regatta in February to be held in the Queen Charlotte Sound.
NZIODA hope to return to Eastern Beaches next year for the North Island camp and find the live-in aspect of the week hugely appealing.
“It’s a great experience for any young sailor,” said Mackay, who was a participant at the camp in Optimist sailing days. “It helps foster friendships that can last a lifetime but also encourages independence because the youngsters need to be self-managed and work with teammates. “We would love to go back to Eastern Beach next January.”
Best wishes from the NZ International Optimist Dinghy Association
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- NZIODA Optimist Clinics 2021/2022 Season – open to all fleets
- Registrations for South Island Clinic now closed
- Registrations for North Island Clinic now closed
- NZIODA Ranking Regattas 2021/2022 Season
- Interislander Regatta, Picton 18th to 20th February 2022
- Optimist & Starling National Championships 16th to 19th April 2022