Victorian Optimist Championship – As the three Optimist fleets headed out on to Port Phillip this morning, a moderate westerly was backing into the south and softening to around five knots.
Race officials were hoping the breeze would stabilise enough to get three good races to finish off the nine race regatta program.
Daniel Links (RPAYC) and Steven Case (RGYC), overnight leaders in the Open and Intermediate fleets, sailed out knowing they needed to consolidate their narrow leads. Meanwhile, Millie Harvey (MYC) had built a comfortable 11 point lead in the Green fleet.
Just getting the Open fleet off the line cleanly for their first race was a struggle this morning, with general recalls under ‘U’ and Black flags and the course axis being rotated several times in between attempted starts. It was over an hour before the Open fleet sailors were finally able to progress to Mark 1.
Steven Case and Cole Tapper (WSC) were BFD in this race, opening the door for Jack Ferguson (MYC) to move into the overall lead on tie-break from Cole Tapper. Now having to count his 16th place from race 6, Steven Case dropped out of the top three, making way for his brother Michael to move up into third.
On the southern course being used for the Open race track, the breeze continued to swing into the East and dropped to three knots and less, causing more delays and frustrating officials and sailors alike. Just before 2pm, the decision was made to abandon racing for the day and the Open Championships was decided.
On the other courses, the day’s story was similar with officials chasing the fluctuating breeze, but the Intermediate course had enough wind to complete their full racing schedule. Green Fleet racing was abandoned after two races.
In the Intermediate fleet, Daniel Links built on his overnight lead by winning the first race of the day and then posting a fourth and fifth to claim the Intermediate Championship by seven points from James Jackson (MYC). Zac Heyes (MMYC) finished two points further back in third.
Millie Harvey (MYC) dropped her fifth from the first race today – her worst result for the series. She was second in race 8 to maintain a healthy lead and secure the Green Fleet Championships. Second was William Ross (BRYC/RBYC) with Lara Johnson (AWYC) third overall.
VIODA President Dean Joel was full of praise for the organisers and volunteers.
‘What a great event! Royal Brighton excelled with the organisation, a team of wonderful volunteers put on a great regatta on the water and ashore, and the kids had a great time’, he said.
A large and highly skilled team of volunteers was drawn together by the host club to ensure the event was a success. Principal Race Officer was Kevin Wilson, with Race Officers Gary Hosie (Open), Paul Pascoe (Intermediate) and Mark Taylor (Green).
The Royal Brighton event and race management team was boosted by volunteers from other clubs – Black Rock, Sandringham, Royal Melbourne and Mordialloc. There were 22 race management and safety boats on the water each day, and 92 volunteers were involved afloat and ashore.
A large number of sponsors also supported VIODA with the event. Major Event Sponsors were Optimum Prime, Honan Insurance, OziOpti and Quantum Sails. Supporting sponsors were Kellogg’s, 808 Dude, Grit Scooters, Pirahna, Vita Shake, Wizz Fizz, Cobs and Go Natural.
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by David Staley