IODA NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
June 26 to July 4
Thanks to Eric Surget for the wonderful pictures
IODA flag passed to Team USA hosts in 2011
As the Championship ended the traditional handing over of the IODA flag marked the final act of the North American Championship 2010. Next year the NAMs will be in Los Angeles, USA.
Nations Cup: 1st place: Ecuador 1, 2nd place: New Zealand, 3rd place: Japan
North American Team Racing Championship: 1st place: USA 1, 2nd place: USA 2, 3rd place: US Virgin Islands
Top Five Girls: 1st place: Caterina Romero (Peru), 2nd place: Alie Toppa (USA), 3rd place: Eliot Caple (USA)
4th place: Justina Pacheco (Dominican Republic),5th place: Yuuka Kishi (Japan)
First Sailor from outside of North America: Matias Dyck (Ecuador)
First 15 Sailors: 1st: Christopher Williford (USA) - North American Champion 2010
2nd: Duncan Williford (USA), 3rd: Conner Harding (USA),4th: Matias Dyck (ECU), 5th: Wade Waddell (USA)
6th: Alberto Lados (URU),7th: Harry Koeppel (USA), 8th: Victor Damitio (ARG), 9th: Caterina Romero (PER)
10th: Mathias Robertson (CHI), 11th: Alie Toppa (USA), 12th: Eliot Caple (USA)
13th: Nick Muller (USA), 14th: Sam Stan (BER), 15th: Franco Bilik (ARG)
We have a Champion!!
Christopher Williford from USA has just been crowned North American Champion 2010. Christopher sailed consistently throughout the event, finishing among the top ten sailors in all 12 races except for an OCS in race 8; and this is the second time he is awarded the trophy. He was first overall in last year's North American Championship held in Republica Dominicana. But this time Christopher was not 'alone' on the podium since his twin brother Duncan was second overall. USA had more to celebrate, as accompanying the Willifords was Conner Harding, another USA sailor. The USA domination of the top five was only interruped by Matias Dyck from Ecuador, who had been second during most of the event but did not have such good results today and could not take advantage of the second discard. Among the girls, Caterina Romero from Peru did remarkably well in all the races and earned a 9th overall and first girl.
The prize giving was held today at the premises of CORK, after which dinner was served. The sailors spent most of the dinner time 'doing business' with their fellow competitors exchanging their uniform T-shirts and jackets.
We will post more details of the ceremony and a report of the event tomorrow. Meanwhile, see below the list of sailors who were awarded prizes.
July 2nd - Day 7
The penultimate day of the championship saw almost perfect sailing conditions: temperature around 22°, sunny skies with almost no clouds and winds reaching 15knots. Nobody could miss it.
The first race was started in little wind of 4 knots but soon the breeze from the west started to pick up and the sailors enjoyed sailing at its very best. The first two starts of race 7 however were disappointing for some as the centre of the line bowed out leaving many boats on the course side of the line at the starting signal.
Even start for race 8
It was a day of mixed fortunes and even Christoper Williford, USA was one of those scored OCS in race 7 but this has not stopped him from remaining the championship leader from Mathias Dyck, Ecuador and in third place Christopher's brother Duncan. Christopher has led the championship from day one and Mathias has been chasing hard all the way, only 7 points seperate them going into the last three races tomorrow.
Today though also saw some remarkable performances from other sailors - Sam Stan, Bermuda, has improved his position with a succession of consistent top 10 finishes and a first place in race 9A today, currently he is lying in fourth place. Race 9 saw several sailors outside of the top 50 scoring highly, including Meiling Chan Chow from Trinidad, who sailed the race of his regatta to win race 9C.
July 1st - Day 6
Today is Canada Day, a public holiday here in Kingston but the many volunteers assisted with the event rather than spending their planned day with family and friends - for that we thank you.
Yesterday the Team Race North Americans was cut short due to strong winds, but today, in more settled, sunny conditions it resumed with race 17 between USA1 and ISV (US Virgin Islands). This was won by USA1 who, after beating USA2, went through to the Finals. The other Finals place was hotly contested with USA2 winning through for a repeat of race 23. Could USA2 reverse that result and become TRNAM Champions?
USA1 and USA2 a well earned victory sail past
USA1 came off the start line fast and immediately dominated the race. They followed this win with a second display of dominating team racing and showed just why they are the top USA team as they won the Final with two straight wins.
Tomorrow the fleet racing continues with another 3 races planned.
June 30th - Day 5
Today was the team racing competition for most of the teams. The North American members were competing on course Alpha in the TRNAM and all other members were competing on course Bravo in the Nations Cup. The weather forecast was for strong winds and 1m waves and during the day the forecast was proved correct. Part way through the competition, at 4pm, the Race Committee brought all sailors ashore. Happily, after about 2 hours the wind had dropped enough for the Nations Cup to continue and the competition was completed.
Ecuador qualified for the Final first and had to wait for the result of the race between New Zealand and Japan to know who their opponents would be. This was an important race and the pressure was on the sailors to push hard to win. There was an individual recall signal displayed at the start and two New Zealand boats returned to start correctly. This put the New Zealand team under pressure with two boats placed so far behind it would be difficult to win the race. However, at the finish, New Zealand were declared the winners as all 4 Japan boats had also been over the line at the start and had not returned.
Approaching the finish of the first race in the Final of the Nations Cup
Trackers were now fitted to the 8 boats in the Final and the Nations Cup Champions would be the first team to win 2 races. The first race was extremely close. Neither team was sure who had won and they all waited by the finish boat for the display of the name of the winning team. ECU was displayed on the board and the New Zealand boats returned to the start of the next race knowing that they must win it to remain in the competition.
Again the racing was close but after Mark 3, Ecuador were beginning to control the race and they went on to become the first winners of the Nations Cup.
Ecuador celebrate on the water watched by their supporters ashore
The TRNAM continues tomorrow with the first race between USA and ISV. Once again the Final can be followed on the Live Tracking Viewer.
Follow the format for today on the results Grid
June 29th - Day 4
Six races for each division (18 in all) have now been fully tracked at the IODA North American Championship. The tracking has been a great success so far and has proved even more useful than ever expected. Today, in the strong winds, there was concern raised for a sailor who had not been seen for some time by his coach. The tracking team were able to give his position immediately and rescue were able to confirm that he was still sailing in what were now quite difficult conditions, not just due to the wind strength but also the cold.
The event had a surprise visitor today, Paddy Boyd, Executive Director of the Canadian Yachting Association. He made a particular effort to meet the tracking team and said:
"I have been following the Optimist North Americans with particular interest in the tracking service. Fantastic! − you (tracking team) and the class deserve high praise for investing resources, both financial, staff and volunteers in this area, which, I believe, shows how we can use the latest technology to portray our sport to the vast audience that can’t make it to the race course."
Christoper Williford approaching the gate in race 6
The audience at home have been able to watch an impressive performance from Christopher Williford USA, who, with Mathias Dyck, Ecuador have put in a remarkably consistent performance to be slowly pulling away from the rest of the field. In 10th place overall and leading girl is Alie Toppa USA, just ahead of Caterina Romero Aguirre from Peru.
The racing continues tomorrow with the Optimist Team Racing North American Championship and the Optimist Nations Cup, the former of which will have the Final fully tracked.
June 28th - Day 3
The forecast for today was for plenty of wind so expectations for exciting racing were high. However as the sailors arrived on the course area the wind began to drop and the first start was delayed. Eventually though, the weather forecast proved accurate and the wind built during the day to a steady 15 knots.
Many sailors excelled in these conditions and eight finished the day with results all in single digits - quite some achievement to be that consistent in this large fleet.
Start of Race 2 from the pin end of the line
Christopher Williford USA (North American Champion 2009) is currently top of the leaderboard followed closely by Mathias Dyck ECU and Dane Wilson USA. This is still early days in the competition and with another 3 races scheduled for tomorrow, much can change.
Today also marked the start of the live event tracking with spectators able to follow the racing on the internet. Friends from around the globe followed the changing fortunes of the sailors and many also followed the Tweets throughout the day.
June 27th - Day 2
Clouds finally defeated the weak morning sun and Lake Ontario was gray for the rest of the day. The general enthusiasm before the practice race unfortunately decreased as the hours went by and when the competitors launched their boats not all teams went sailing. The group that went afloat had to wait under AP and finally they were sent ashore.
Not that the delegations were too sad to come back so early... in fact many of the sailors, especially team Argentina and Mexico, and most of the coaches, were eager to arrive in time to watch the World Cup Finals.
Meanwhile at the office, preparations were under way for the first live event tracking tomorrow. The tracking units had been distributed to the sailors before the practice race and the offline viewer proved to be working well so it is expected that tomorrow's races can be followed by people in every corner of the world.
June 26th - Day 1
This championship is being hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston, at Portsmouth Harbour, once the venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Kingston has a reputation for being one of the worlds greatest fresh water sailing venues and the conditions here are likely to be a considerable challenge for the sailors, many of whom are attending their first IODA continental championship.
Kingston is a university town and Queens, one of the oldest universities in Canada, are housing the competitors, coaches, officials and volunteers. It is an opportunity for making new friends and for friendly rivalry on the football pitch here at the campus.
Tomorrow measurement will be completed and there will be a practice race, preparation for both the sailors and race officials for the start of racing on Monday. Live tracking will be available from Monday, so follow your friends and relatives here on our website.
Tracking Takes Centre Stage for the Optimist Class
Over the next few weeks more than 400 Optimist sailors will compete for the North American and European titles and for the first time, fans will be able to keep up with all the action by following the racing live online.
The Optimist North American Championship is approaching fast. More than 200 sailors will gather in Kingston, Canada for five days of tough competition. Just a few days later, another even larger fleet will gather in Kamien-Pomorski, Poland for the Optimist Europeans.
This year, both events will feature live tracking. Available on the internet, it will feature race analysis, mark roundings and real time standings. You can follow specific sailors or teams - easy to use with replays of all races also available.
There has been much discussion recently, particularly following the ISAF Olympic Commission report, about the need for sailing to embrace technology and to present sailing to a wider audience. It seems particularly appropriate for the Optimist class, the worldwide pathway for young sailors, to take the initiative and run live tracking at four championships this year - the North Americans, Europeans, European Team Racing and the Worlds.
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