News Emily Polson wins Hong Kong Optimist Nationals

Emily Polson wins Hong Kong Optimist Nationals

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we would like to congratulate Emily Polson for her recent victory at the Hong Optimist National Championship. 

Emily is just 12 years old and started sailing when she was 6.  An experienced competitor, she competed in the 2019 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship in OMAN. Emily was lucky to be able train early in the pandemic as her family was stuck in Tasmania, Australia and could not get back to Hong Kong. When Emily graduates from the Optimist she has her sights set on racing a 29er.   In the meantime though, she is looking forward to the 2021 Optimist season. No doubt Emily has a bright future in the Optimist Class!  The name of her boat says it all -  "DREAM BIG"!  She even has PINK sail numbers!

Originally scheduled for October, and then for December, a window in the government restrictions on public activity, that has been affecting organised sports, finally opened up in February 2021. Within two weeks of the announcement that restrictions were being eased, the HKODA, with the assistance of the local clubs, was able to complete its 2020 Nationals! 

The regatta, which was hosted from the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, was sailed in the stunning waters of Port Shelter, the location being proposed by HKODA for future IODA events. This was ably supported by a race organisation featuring no less than two IJs and one IRO, all happy to be involved in a sailing competition once again.

Winds were reliable throughout the weekend, with 5-10 knots on the Saturday and 8-15 on Sunday, allowing 8 races to be sailed on the standard IODA Worlds course. Racing was tight at the top of the fleet, with Emily Polson’s greater consistency making the difference by the time all the races were completed.

The Intermediate Fleet shared the same start and finish as the Main Fleet, with shortened legs allowing them to finish at the same time as the Main Fleet. Racing was also close, with Matthieu Tancock just nipping Emily’s brother Louis after identical count backs meant that the outcome came down to the result of the last race. 

Results are here:

Credit is due to Hebe Haven Yacht Club, the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for their support, and also to the parents, coaches and scores of other volunteers who made this event happen.