It was great to see a regional regatta take place at the Charteris Bay Yacht Club last weekend. The South Island Age Group Regatta has been part of the Opti calendar since 1976 and it was one of the first regattas to take place after the Optimist arrived in New Zealand and took up residence in Charteris Bay thanks to the great foresight of Paul Pritchett, a local resident and keen sailor.
Being an age group regatta, prizes are awarded for the various age groups competing in both green and open fleets rather than the overall results. This is also a training regatta where the back third of the fleet can be ‘coached’ around the course.
The 2022 event saw a smaller event due to Covid 19, however sailors from around the different clubs in Canterbury still took up the challenge. And what a challenge it was!
Day 1 saw light and shifty conditions where the wind swung around all points of the compass at some point of the day, while day 2 brought driving rain and strong southerly winds, some gusts over 30 knots at times. Despite these challenging conditions 5 of the 6 races scheduled were completed.
A big thank you to C Lund and Son for their continuing support of this regatta.
Best wishes from the NZ International Optimist Dinghy Association
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