2015 Optimist World Championships
The 2015 Optimist World Championship in Dziwnow Poland has concluded and the 275 sailors from 58 nations have nowdeparted after almost two weeks of international camaraderie both on and off the water.
The Race Committee was constantly challenged by the light wind conditions from the beginning, forcing many changes to the racing schedule. After four days with only four races, the spare day was lost to the Team Racing Championship. It was unclear initially whether there would in fact be an opportunity to race the Final Stage, as the wind once again would not cooperate. With the possibility of being able to crown a victor in jeopardy, on September 3rd the Race Committee was finally able to complete the fleet racing in the afternoon and an abbreviated Final Stage of the Team Racing in the early evening. Singapore triumphed over Thailand as the new Team Racing Champions, continuing the seven year duopoly. Argentina took third place.
The Individual Championship – the Beacon Challenge Cup - was won over nine total races by Rok Verderber of Slovenia.
Rok, who hails from Y.C. Pirat, is the first ever winner from Slovenia. He posted four bullets for a total net score of 18. Second place went to Jodie Lai of Singapore, who also took the award for top girl. Jodie, who is also the 2014 Open North American champion, posted all individual race results in the top 10 with the exception of the drop. Third place was won by Mathias Berthet of Norway, a member of Royal Norwegian Y.C. and he is the current NOR Optimist Champion. He is the first NOR medallist since Siren Sundby who later went on to win Olympic gold.
Jodi Lai received the Optimist Worlds Girls Trophy for her outstanding performance in placing second overall in gold fleet. Following her onto the podium for the top girl awards were Gaia Bergonzini of Italy in second, and Aina Colum Miro of Spain in third place.
The Nations Cup, also known as the Miami Herald Cup, which is awarded to the top country’s team with the highest combined score went to Singapore. Hungary claimed second place, followed by Argentina.
Congratulations to all! Final results for all fleets can be found here
The challenging wind conditions once again hampered and delayed the completion of the team racing. A reduced program was finally completed yesterday with the two longstanding rivals, Singapore and Thailand going head to head in the final.
The wind, which had promised a good race suddenly dropped and the final race was run in extremely light conditions. The winners of that single race were Singapore who are now the Optimist World Team Racing Champions.
Before the team racing, 2 races were completed for all fleets with Emerald completing their race in a squall with winds rising at times to 20 knots. The results after 9 races still sees Rok Verderber (SLO) in first place but Jodie Lai (SIN), Mathias Berthet (NOR) are not far behind and Dante Cittadini (ARG) and Otto Henry (AUS) are also in contention.
The last day will see up to 3 more races but once again the wind is very light and does not look promising.
After a slightly late start the two team racing courses both completed their full schedule which reduced the number of teams from 48 to just 16.
The forecast tomorrow looks more promising and hopefully we will complete the schedule for the last 16 teams and the Optimist World Team Racing Champions 2015 will be crowned.
This continues to be a difficult event for everyone concerned. The race committee have worked tirelessly searching for a course area where they can set up and run racing in light breeze and strong current. After 4 days we have just 4 races completed for all fleets. In such challenging conditions it is the mark of a very talented sailor to have consistent results and the three sailors currently at the top of the leader board are certainly talented. Rok Verderber (SLO), Suthon Yampinid (THA) and Daniel Hung (SIN) have not posted a finish result worse than 5th. Rok, the current leader, has three 1sts and a 5th - remarkable performance.
Today we switch from fleet racing to team racing which was delayed until 31st so that sufficient races could be completed to rank the sailors and so 48 teams today hope for better conditions for this part of the championship. Thailand, ranked third on the team grid, are hoping to repeat their win of last year but there are many teams here with the skills to prevent that and the quality of the racing, wind permitting, will be very high.
The intention is for 2 days of team racing. Two courses on day one with 48 teams and 1 course with just 16 teams on day two.
Apart from the lack of wind, the one thing that has stood out at this event so far is the dedication of the Polish volunteers. They are always quick to help and will find a solution to any problem. Early starts and late finishes are never easy but without you this event would not happen - thank you.
For TRACKING but not day one of team racing
Today Delta was raised according to plan at 10:45. The early morning breeze was a promising southerly 14 knots, but unfortunately did not hold throughout the day.
Only yellow fleet was able to complete Race 1. Tomorrow the intention of the Race Committee is for blue, red and green fleets to complete Race 1, and after that commence with Race 2 and Race 3 for all groups. The fleet assignments will remain the same.
Teams are now arriving for the largest Optimist Worlds ever!
275 sailors from an incredible 58 countries have been arriving for the last few days in Dziwnow, Poland to compete in this event for both the individual and the team racing titles.
Measurement began today with 65 boats passing through today and the remainder to be checked in the next three days.
Live tracking will be available Friday 28th, replays of all races will be available to watch as well
Tracking requires Java which can be downloaded for free from www.java.com
We are posting daily on FaceBook so if you have comments, blogs or team photos please post.
Good luck to everyone