Friday 1st April was a tough start for all of the green fleeters at the 2015 Optimist Nationals. Despite gusts of 25+kts, all the sailors were eager to get out on the water. With 30 seconds to go, the start line is bedlam with upturned boats and screams as boats collide. Wind thunders past frightened faces and into sails. Kids hike until their thighs burn and their boat is flat. Calm for once, until they realise the next gust is about to hit. With capsizes, nosedives, you name it, only one race was sailed due to the challenging conditions.
Photo shared on Flickr by SameJ
Saturday 2nd was blown out for both fleets so most of Wakatere headed to Te Papa. Sunday was a lot calmer and more successful for most people. We had four races, two in the morning and two in the afternoon with a short break in between for lunch. 15kts was the maximum.
Monday was an exciting day in all as the wind suited some but not others and places changed rapidly. Two races were completed but sadly, the third was abandoned. Tuesday was by far the windiest day so sailing was once again called off. Prize giving proceeded afterwards without too much trouble.
Congratulations to Wakatere sailors Nick Probert, Ben Holroyd, George Lee Rush and Timothy Cashmore for braving the windy Wellington conditions.
By George Lee Rush Age: 10
Pictured - George Lee Rush - Dawson Trophy for Notable Sportsmanship