Day one of the course racing at the African Optimist Championships 2016 is done and dusted, with 3 races completed in the building SW. The course was the IODA regulation trapezoid with a second beat on the outside loop and the finish at the top of the second beat.
The start of the first race was postponed while RC waited for the breeze to fill in. It is IODA policy to use the U flag from the onset and go straight to black flag should they require it. This doesn’t deter eager sailors.
Even though the line was almost even, the pin-end starters had a challenge to go around the big pin boat. Needless to say the pin-end is mayhem. For the small 47 boat fleet the line was more then adequate, but the sailors nervousness was evident with them all making a lot of basic mistakes. In the 2nd row there is excessive tacking and the list goes on . . .
The first beat was long, about 16 minutes. The fleet was clearly split with one group on either side of the course. The left group only made gains towards the end of the beat. Matt rounded the weather mark in 4th. Angola 1st, Angola 2nd and Mozambique 3rd.
Keagan rounded 15th as the second South African, the others followed in close succession.
At the finish: Matt 2nd, Keagan 15th, Chiara 25th, Tristan 27th, Duncan 34th, Helen 44th, Alex 46th.
Race 2 started in about 12 knots with the sea state picking up to a steep chop and a small ground swell. Almost no current with the wind over water continuously pushing the boats back on the start. At the first rounding Matt rounded 2nd and Chiara 8th. The others were further down the fleet. Downwind proved to be a lot of fun with the steep chop.
Matt finished 1st and Chiara 9th.
Race 3 the breeze built to 14 knots at the start and shifted another ten degrees to the left. Everyone’s start was better but some of sailors were forced to the right with the majority of the fleet favouring the left. In the stronger breeze the top rounding proved tricky, with a lot of sailors under laying and having to put in multiple tacks to get up to the starboard lay-line. Matt rounded 4th after touching the mark and had to do a turn.
Chiara was the next South African followed by Keagan and Tristan. The breeze kept building and the downwind became quite challenging. No capsizes in our team but a lot of tired bodies.
Finishing positions were Matt 6th, Chiara 34th, Keagan 28th, Tristan 25th, Duncan 31st, Helen 36th and Alex 41st.
Manager – Team RSA