Optimist African Championship 2013
Konstantin Steidle (GER) claims overall victory and Calvin Gibbs (RSA) is crowned African Champion
African Champion crowned
Saturday 17 August evening
There were 3 races yesterday on what was the final day of the championship, with no clear favourite for the overall title. The wind had moderated to 8-11 knots but the swell, which had been a problem all week, had increased and made launching from the marina quite perilous. The race committee did a fabulous job to get everyone afloat safely and despite the increasing wind, rain and sun, there were 3 good races for each fleet.
Friday did see a change of leader as Konstantin Steidle (GER) had 2 bullets and a 3rd which moved him ahead of Calvin Gibbs (RSA). Congratulations to the both of them, Konstantin as the overall winner and Calvin as the new African Champion.
Friday 16 August evening
Today for the first time there were good wind conditions and the races started on time. Just before the second race had finished, the wind picked up to 29-30 knots. The Race Committee delayed the start of the third race but the wind was due to gradually increase so racing was abandoned for the day.
The lead changed today with Calvin Gibbs (RSA) moving 3 points ahead of Rami RidËn (TUN). With just one more day to go it is likely to be a close finish.
The forecast is for moderate winds tomorrow however very large swells are predicted.
Friday 16 August morning
Yesterday 10 teams particpipated in the African Team Racing Championship, three from South Africa, two from Mozambique, 1each from Algeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Egypt and Oman.
The racing had been delayed by a day due to huge seas which had made launching dangerous. Initially things yesterday were again not promising with fog and poor visibility but eventually it cleared and the boats launched. RSA 1 were in tremendous form and won through to the final without losing a race. Their opponents, Algeria,had a more difficult route, finally beating Mozambique for the right to meet RSA 1 in a best of 3 final. RSA 1 took the first race but Algeria fought back to win the next one resulting in a tense deciding third race which was won by RSA 1 - Luuk Beekman, Calvin Gibbs, Kai Leslie, Georgou Divaris and Brandon Ferriera.
Today the fleet racing resumes.
Wednesday 14 August
The teams all lined up on the jetty today watching the 5 meter swell grow in size as it smashed into the harbour wall. The sailors all played chicken with the spray and got totally drenched. It was decided that the waves were too big and safety would be an issue so the team racing has been postponed until tomorrow. The swell forecast is a lot less, however the wind forecast is higher.
Tuesday 13 August
After the disappointment of yesterday the race committee were relieved to finish 3 races for each fleet. There was a big swell again today and initially the wind was gusting 30 knots which was a challenge for both the race committee and the sailors. During the day though the wind reduced to 15 knots but those sailors who excel in strong winds thoroughly enjoyed today.
Marwan Al Jabri (OMA) and Kholoud Mansy (EGY) returning to the harbour after racing © Julie Dearden
The current leader after 4 races is Rami RidËn from TUN closely followed by Georgou Divaris and Calvin Gibbs both RSA.
Tomorrow is the team racing with fleet racing resuming again on Friday.
Monday 12 August evening
The forecast for this week is for rather unsettled conditions and despite 4 races being planned today the race committee knew that this would probably not be achievable as a storm front was expected later in the day. The first races for Yellow and Blue began in 22-24 knots and increased as the fleet were part way around the course. The waves also increased in size and coupled with wind steadily higher than 25 knots the race committee sent everyone ashore, hoping that the storm would pass and conditions would moderate. Unfortunately things did not improve and the race committee abandoned racing for the day.
Monday 12 August morning
Last night after the practice race, the teams gathered for the opening ceremony. The parade was led by a local brass band who entertained the audience with their music and their colourful costumes.
Live tracking is running today and can be viewed on the website with updates on FaceBook.
The Optimist African Championships will begin on Sunday at Club Mykonos, Langebaan, near Cape Town, South Africa.
More than 70 sailors from 9 African countries will be joined by teams from Germany, Oman and British Virgin Islands. Measurement began today and the venue is already busy with early arrivals who have been training ready for the competition.
For the first time at an African Championship there will be live tracking of the races which can be viewed on-line with a laptop, on ipads with a TracTrac App available free from the App store and mark roundings can be viewed on mobile phones. More information is available Here.
To help promote your own team we would appreciate team photos and links to any event blogs that you are running to use on our website both to promote you and the event.