OPTIMIST AFRICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
August 18 to 26
The 10th IODA African Championship has been won in great style by David Wilson of South Africa, with 7 wins from 12 races and a 5th posted as his worst result, he was in a league of his own. David was silver medalist at last year’s IODA Africans and the winner of the boys’ event at the 2011 All Africa Games.
The rest of the leader board shows a radical change in the balance of Optimist sailing in Africa with great results from Angola and Mozambique whose sailors took 6 of the top ten places. Mozambique also took the silver medal in the team-racing event and had the first girl, Delsy Justino. Historically the championship has figured competition for the top places between South Africa and Mediterranean-based sailors from the north. Now Angola and Mozambique have definitely joined the hunt.
This championship has been a great success for all those who worked so hard to make it happen and at the Closing Ceremony this evening, they will be warmly and deservedly thanked. Tonight the IODA flag will be passed to South Africa, the hosts of the 2013 African Championships.
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A steady wind of 12 to 15 knots from the SE allowed for the completion of the three scheduled races. The first race of the day had started at 1100 and by 1500 everybody was back on shore.
David Wilson from South Africa continues accumulating first places and the two of today add up to a total of 6 out of nine races. A lead of 14 points seems difficult to be lost however, David still has to sail carefully tomorrow, especially considering that there is only one discard to be applied.
Angola have 4 sailors among the first 10, beginning with Filipe Andre placed second, followed by Antonio Joana, placed third. Mozambique have 2 sailors in the top ten: Diogo Sanches and Jeremias Masaio in 5th and 6th places; and the first girl Deisy Justino. Algeria and Tunisia complete the top ten with two and one sailors respectively.
Tomorrow is the last day of races. If the weather so permits, the Race Committee will run three races, completing the programme of 12 races in total. The Closing and Prize Giving Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow evening at the club.
With the participation of 11 teams (two of which were from the host country) the team racing competition was sailed on another beautiful day for racing.
At around 1600 the championship was over, with South Africa celebrating their triumph and coronation as African Team Racing Champions 2012, a longed for title that had slipped from their hands last year. Mozambique were the worthy runner ups, after defeating Algeria, the defending champions.
All in all, it was an exiting championship enjoyed by sailors and officials, who are happy and ready for the lay day tomorrow.
The first race of the day was started at 1100 with 7 to 8 knots of wind, which gradually increased its strength, and by race four (6th of the event) it was blowing 20 knots!! It was a day for all tastes and sailors had a good opportunity to show their skills in a wide range of sailing conditions.
Launching on a perfect day of races
With the completion of race 6 the programme is back to normal. However, individual races are interrupted for two days to allow for the team racing event tomorrow and the spare day on Thursday.
It was a difficult day for the Race Committee with a very variable wind and almost constant rain. Although three races had been planned, only two were completed due to the shifting wind which eventually died away. We all hope for better conditions tomorrow as we try for four races.
A warm and friendly Opening Ceremony was held today at Dar es Salaam Yacht Club. Representatives of each team performed the traditional ‘mixing of waters’ ceremony symbolising the union of all African countries. After the speeches and hoisting of flags all sailors, officials and supporters were invited to dinner.
The sailors, from 11 countries, are now ready for the first three races which are scheduled for tomorrow so let’s hope for good and steady winds.
Measurement began today for the early arrivals at this championship. The bulk of the 74 sailors will arrive tomorrow with just a couple of days to practice in the local conditions and go through measurement, ready for the first race on Monday.
A sailor from South Africa watches as his sail is measured
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