2014 Optimist North American Championship
Ivan Shestopalov USA, Optimist North American Champion 2014 and second overall
Volunteers made this championship a big success with their hard work
The Championship came to a dramatic end yesterday with only one race for the Yellow fleet but the early leaders remained consistent.The Race Committee worked extremely hard to run more races but the wind continued to shift and drop. It was a difficult day for them.
Ivan Shestopalov USA was first overall at the Optimist South Americans in Uruguay earlier this year and continues to sail well, finishing more than 10 points clear of his team mate, Luke Arnone, second in the closed competition, to become the Optimist North American Champion.
Ivan Shestopalov USA, Optimist North American Champion 2014 and second overall © Matias Capizzano.
Jodie Lai SIN, overall winner © Matias Capizzano.
Jodie sailed a remarkably consistent regatta with only one result outside the first three, she was the clear overall winner by more than 13 points.
Benjamín Fuenzalida CHI,third overall © Matias Capizzano.
Congratulations to all the sailors and a very big thank you to Vallarta Yacht Club and all the many volunteers who made this championship such a success.
Only one race for Yellow fleet was possible today. The Race Committee attenpted to start Blue fleet twice but a big wind shift and a dropping wind sent the Red and Blue fleets home without a completed race. It was a long disappointing day for them but sometimes the weather just does not co-operate.
The Yellow race saw a big wind shift and if you went to the left there were big gains to be made. Both Jodie Lai and Ivan Shestopalov, the event leaders, were on the wrong side of the shift and both have discarded this race as their worst score. The results are currently provisional so a full report still to come.
The wind built up later than usual yesterday. Sailors had launched their boats at around 14:30 but only at 16:30 did the first race of the day start.
Two good races were completed in 10-12 knots of South Westerly winds. There were a couple of postponements during the start of the blue fleet that delayed the start of subsequent races and an attempt to sail a third race failed due to thunderstorms and a big wind shift.
With the completion of 6 races sailors are now going to start racing the final series.
USA 1 North American Team racing Champions 2014.
Having won the 6 matches in which they took part, sailors Ivan Shestopalov, Thomas Rice, Luke Arnone and twins Carmen and Emma Cowles of Team USA 1 became NAM Team Racing Champions 2014, followed by USA 2 and USA 3, 2nd and 3rd respectively .On the parallel course, Singapore dominated the Nations Cup, while Chile, current South American Team Racing Champions, confirmed their leadership in the continent's rank.
Singapore, Nations Cup Champions 2014.
Sailing conditions were ideal for this type of competition: sun, blue skies, and 6 to 8 knots of wind. After an attempt to start the races in the morning taking advantage of the couple of hours with a breeze before midday, the fleet was sent back to shore and then to the water at around 13:00. Races finished at around 18:00 and all sailors, officials, supporting staff and volunteers were treated with a party at a nearby golf club, with traditional dancers and 'mariachis'.
Today is the spare day, and many are going to the Marietas islands, just off Punta Mita to the north of the bay, a sanctuary for divers and nature lovers.
Racing will resume on Tuesday.
Another great day of sailing saw 2 more races completed. Jodie Lai now leads as Sanuel Neo was disqualified in race 3 - he is likely to feature in the top 3 again once a discard is applied after race 5.
Jodie Lai © Matias Capizzano.
Ivan Shestopalov and Thomas Rice, both USA are third and fourth overall and the leading North American sailors.
The team racing competitions take place today with 25 teams entered (9 for the North Americans and 16 for the Nations Cup). The teams can be viewed HERE and also the grids for the North Americans and the Nations Cup.
Perfect sailing conditions on the first day of races in Vallarta. A breeze of 6-7 knots started to develop at 1 pm and built up to 12-13 knots, allowing for the completion of the three scheduled races, even after a wind shift between races 1 and 2 forced the Race Committee to change the setting of the course, which delayed the start of the second race more than planned.
© Matias Capizzan
All races but one were started with U flag, proving once again how successful this new practice has been. There was only one general recall after which the black flag was used.
© Matias Capizzano.
Having scored two bullets and a second, Samuel Neo (defending overall champion 2012) leads the feet two points ahead of female sailor Jodie Lai, also from Singapore. Among the North American sailors, Ivan Shestopalov from USA is at the top of the ranking and third overall.