Round up ... and congratulations to Russell Clarida, North American Champion 2011.

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Round up ... and congratulations to Russell Clarida, North American Champion 2011.

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July 18 - Round up and thanks

russell clarida
Russell Clarida, North American Champion 2011 - Photo © David Hein

Sailing right outside the port of Los Angeles, said to be the third largest port in the world for its size, is not an experience easily forgotten!! The sailing conditions were superb - blue waters beneath a blue sky, a gentle swell and winds reaching 20 knots every afternoon. The organisers were hospitable and made everybody feel at home, and the Race Committee did a wonderful job.

russell clarida
Back to shore after the last race of the event with LA Port on the background - Photo Alan Cressey

Twelve races were sailed with no major problems except on the last two days when the current, usually strong downwind, changed direction and 'pushed' the sailors towards the course side. The Race Committee had to signal a few general and individual recalls and results were affected by the number of OCSs. After a close battle for first and second place in the Open event, Alberto 'Tito' Lados from Uruguay took victory after sailing consistently throughout the event with a 5th as his worst finishing position after a BFD discard. Peter Janezic scored one point more than Tito - he wasn't imposed any starting penalty but he had an 8th and a 9th.

In the closed event it was Russell Clarida (USA) who finally made it to the top, fighting for the leadership of the Open event as well - he scored just three points more than Lados. Congratulations to the new Champion 2011. Wade Waddell (USA), fourth overall and second North American sailor, had remarkable races as well (including four 1st places) but was on the course side at the last start.

In the girls fleet it was Odile van Aanholt from Netherlands Antilles who made her way through to the top of the ranking. At the beginningof the championship she had a wide range of finishing positions, but the last two days of races saw her conquering the title after sailing to her very best. Camila Flores from Mexico had very good races at the beginning but a series of +20th finishing places sent her down in the female ranking. Third was Justina Pacheco from Dominican Republic, who has shown much improvement in the last couple of years, finishing top girl in many international events including the South Americans in Chile and the Scotiabank regatta in US Virgin Islands.

tito & odile
Tito Lados, 1st overall; and Odile van Aanholt, 1st girl

The team racing was very exciting indeed and in both cases the finals were a regional 'classic'. In the case of the North Americans, the sail off was between USA 2 and Puerto Rico, who had been the winners in 2007 and 2008 but had two bad years afterwards, in which they only made it to flight C. This year, however, the victory went to USA 2 but Puerto Rico were proud runner ups. USA 1 finished third, having lost the 'semi-final' to their fellow sailors USA 2.

In the Nations Cup the trophy went to Argentina, who beat their neighbouring sailors from Uruguay. Third were Ecuador 1.

We would like to thank and congratulate Aaron Feeves, John O'Connor, Ann, Erin, Sharon and all the volunteers from the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, and Robin Kuebel and AJ Booker from the USODA, for making this event possible.

For day to day reports, results, entries and photos, visit the Mini Site

July 2

Peter Lin Janezic consolidated his lead on day 2 with two bullets and a 5th, while the order of the other leading sailors was radically affected by the taking of the first discard. The Slovene was 18th at last year’s Worlds so his position is not perhaps that surprising.

The lead among the North American sailors has now passed to Russell Clarida from Pequot Yacht club in Southport, Ct., runner-up in USODA Trials, closely followed by Alexander Hanna from Hampton Virginia. Incidentally the 40-strong USA team is drawn from at least twelve different states.

Camila Flores Hernandez (MEX) remains the leading girl in 8th place over-all, having been able to discard her disastrous 6th race, and now has a 20 point lead over Justina Pacheco (DOM).

July 1

Group of sailors - Photo © David Hein

Leading the fleet of 187 sailors from 21 countries after day one is Peter Janezic of Slovenia, one of only 13 non-Americans accepted for the event. He is tied on points with William Marshall from Newton, Massachussets, a member of the USA Worlds team. The difficult conditions mean that several top sailors will hope to have sailed their discard, including US Trials winner Wade Waddell (Lauderdale, Florida).

First girl at this early stage is Camila Flores Hernandez (MEX) ahead of Odile van Aanholt from Curacao. Other top-rated girls such as USA Worlds team member Martina Sly and 2010 medallists Alie Toppa (USA) and Justina Pacheco (Dominican Republic) will hope to improve as the event progresses.

June 27

Excellent day in Los Angeles!! More and more sailors are arriving in Cabrillo Beach, eager to start the competition. Teams ARG, ECU, AHO, ISV, CHI, BER, CAN, MEX, IVB and GER are already enjoying sunny California, that treated them with steady North Westerly winds of 16 to 18 knots below a cloudless sky.

Meanwhile on shore measurement started early in the morning with team Ecuador and at the end of the day a total of 58 boats had been scrutineered. The biggest team, the USA with 40 sailors, will go through measurement tomorrow.

June 26

Teams have been arriving in Los Angeles for the last few days and many are now out training, preparing for July 1, when racing begins. Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, in the port of Los Angeles is the venue. CBYC played host to the USODA Nationals in 2009, an event which demonstrated what a fantastic venue this can be for Optimist racing.

Team Mexico preparing for Friday and the start of the Championship © Hector Guzman

Measurement has now begun for the early arrivals and preparations for the opening ceremony on Thursday are well underway.

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