North Island Opti Clinic Returns to Eastern Beach

Once again 40 sailors and 7 coaches returned to Willow Park and Eastern Beach for the annual NZIODA North Island Clinic. In its 20th year the camp is a mainstay in the optimist calendar and there were sailors from all around the country in attendance.

Cyclone Hale bore down upon the North Island for day one of the camp but fortunately the big winds never really arrived, and the sailors were able to head out on day 1. It did get very windy on day two, but this was only later in the afternoon as the sailors were already heading to shore. 

Each day was split up into a different focus and so the sailors worked on boat handling, boat speed, starting, and team racing throughout the week. The coaches also rotated each day which gave each sailor a chance to learn from all the coaches. It was great to have the experience of Andrew Wills for two days of the camp and he did an insightful talk on habits and mindset of top sailors. Alongside Wilzy the coaching group consisted of Xanthe Copeland, Olivia Christie, Craig Keenan, Lydia Grasberger, Lucas Day and Sam Mackay.  

Three-time Olympian Paul Snow Hansen also came and spoke to the group about how to categorise days based on wind and what you should think about when you’re sailing based on this. The sailors also prepared questions to ask Paul at the end of his talk. Big thank you to Paul for giving up his time.

It was an awesome week, very busy as always, with sailors, coaches and parent helpers all exhausted by the end. A huge thank you to the parents that were there throughout the week, especially Matt Harker for taking the lead and Jim Turner for jumping in to coach where needed. Also thanks to the clubs that lent ribs for the camp, and the OWNZ trust for their massive support once again.

Sam Mackay

NZIODA Head Coach

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