The 6 lucky WC Optimist sailors left for China today!
Kashief Davids, JP Buys, Max Cilliers, Theo Scheder-Bieschin, Thomas Slater, Isabella Keytel.
Bev le Sueur, Wendy Adams & Tristan Bews accompanying them all the way.
The team will participate in the Qingdao International Training Camp & Regatta all made possible by DCAS – Dept of Cultural Affairs & Sport, Western Cape.
Saturday 10 August – Our Optimist sailors were treated to an amazing opening ceremony in Qingdao, China – they must have felt like Olympians!
They sailed 4 races on the 1st day, “We had a tough day on the water yesterday. Our kids struggled to read the current which resulted in a few black flags”
Sailing was cancelled for today (too much wind) & tomorrow due to a typhoon making landfall this evening.
From Coach Tristan … (Tuesday 13th August) Hi all! So lots of good news from China! We had 4 good races today. The sea was very confused which lead to quite a bit of sea sickness . The kids scored some good results so South Africa’s presents is been felt on the race course. Tonight we were treated to a class on how to make Mooncakes. A traditional Chinese cake. I must say we have a few handy bakers in the team!
Tomorrow is the last day of racing. So it is all to play for. Hopefully we can keep the good results coming in! Goodnight from Qingdao.
(Wednesday 14th August) Our sailors have had their last day of sailing today. Closing Ceremony is this evening. Shopping and exploring tomorrow then to Airport in Qingdao to fly to Beijing. Beijing to Doha. Explore Doha on a 20hr layover and then home.
Results: All in silver fleet Max 3rd, Thomas 5th . Kashief 7th, Theo 14th, JP 23rd. Isabella 6th girl & 18th overall in silver fleet.
Message from Bev:
Our wonderful children have embraced the Chinese culture and food, accepted its people and touched the hearts of many. Well done to Wendy and Tristan and Team Qingdao 2019, you have made this another successful exchange. Relationships have been strengthened. Thank you parents for allowing your children to participate. They are amazing and unique individuals who have such shown such respect to everyone around them and most importantly, allowed and trusted us to show them the beauty and generous hospitality of Qingdao and its people.
Friday 16 August – News from China (still in China but just leaving). After a 4hr delay the team left Qingdao. The team missed their connecting Beijing-Qatar flt by minutes at 2am ish. Poor kids slept on the floor till Beijing airport woke up. Bev, Wendy & Tristan kept vigil overdosed on caffeine. Waiting it out in a Beijing hotel for the plan to emerge. They finally were booked onto the flight the following day. They are finally on their way home & will be arriving on Sun (not Sat)
South African teenager Ian Walker wrapped up a fantastic week of sailing at the Optimist World Championships in Antigua, just missing out on a podium spot.
The 14-year-old was South Africa’s only representative at the championships and did the country proud, finishing in fifth place out of 255 competitors. This result ranks as one of the top achievements for South African sailors on the international stage. The Optimist World Championships is a good indicator of future Olympic champions. The result is a massive improvement of 36 places on his already outstanding result at last year’s event in Cyprus.
Walker claimed three race wins and a second place during the week to qualify for the gold fleet. Although it was initially tough going, he managed a fourth place in the third last race to make sure he finished in fifth spot overall.
The title went to Italy’s Marco Gradoni for a third consecutive year after he claimed victories in the final two races, with Malta’s Richard Schultheis in second overall and Spain’s Jaime Ayarza third.
“On behalf of all South African Sailing, and the whole sailing community in the country, we’d like to congratulate Ian on his result at the Optimist Worlds,” said SA Sailing vice president Peter Hall. “This remarkable result is comparable with our Proteas team reaching the semi-finals of the Netball World Cup in Liverpool. It really bodes well for Ian considering where most future Olympic champions started out. “Ian is a huge inspiration to all of us in South Africa who have been following his progress with great interest. We trust that he will keep up the great sailing and keep flying the South African flag high.”
The youngster also received congratulations from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). “The 2019 edition of the Opti World Championships 2019 in Antigua has attracted 260 youth sailors from 65 nations and we are very proud of Ian Walker, our own athlete representing South Africa at this renowned event,” wrote SASCOC communications officer Jessica Choga. “Such International events go a long way in offering exposure to our young athletes who are the future Olympians. As the macro sports body, we congratulate you on your sterling performance.”
Walker’s father, Clive, added: “The Walker family are truly humbled by the support that Ian has received from sailing enthusiasts and organisations from all corners of the world, in his quest for victory on behalf of South Africa at the 2019 Antigua Optimist World Championships.“
“We, as a family, are great supporters of the Mallorca and Cape Town-based Marine Inspirations mentoring initiative (founded in 2014 by Anthony Just and Phil Wade to promote maritime and sailing careers for less-advantaged South and Southern African youngsters) which, by the way, has played a part in getting Ian to compete in Antigua.“
“As a family already well-established and successful in super-yachting for many years, we proposed to use Ian’s personal determination to train and fight for his place on the world stage as a driving momentum for years to come, by strongly supporting Marine Inspirations in their drive to give less-advantaged kids the opportunity to represent the RSA at international events, as and when these possibilities arise,” he added.
All the results here