Optimist Sailing over Winter 2015 - Read about their Adventures!

Optimist Sailing over Winter 2015 - Read about their Adventures!

Queensland Youth Week

Report #1 by Marcello Torre


I have just attended Queensland Youth Week . The conditions were very light and on the first day we only got one race finished . It was the first time I have ever sailed at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and it was great to learn the different conditions there.


Every day I needed to find out not only wind direction but also tide movement direction and what time it would be neutral and what times it would be stronger etc . This made a big difference in very little wind . In the first race I came 6th , Day 2 I had a better day with two 1st and a 7th . I managed to hold my position with 3 more top 10 places to finish the regatta 3rd over all . It was my first time on the podium and I really enjoyed the opportunity to sail against the top optimist sailors in Australia . Thankyou for supporting me with a travel grant .


Report #2 by Raffe Torre


As part of the Australian Optimist Development Squad, I have just attended RQYS for QYW . This was our nominated pre-regatta training as a squad before the New Caledonia Nationals in Noumea in October later this year . It was really tricky conditions very light wind and big tides . It was a great opportunity to train with our AODS squad coach Klaus Lorenz and also compete against Australia's top optimist sailors . Thankyou for supporting me with a travel grant .


Singapore Nationals


Report #1 – by Ezra Kaye


The 2015 Singapore Optimist Nationals was a great regatta which I competed in as a warm up for the European Championships in wales which was on soon after in July.


I travelled with 5 other sailors which include Marcello Torre, Raffael Torre, Rome Featherstone, Axel Fleet and Michael Compton. We trained for a couple of days prior to the event to get used to the conditions and try to get the most out of the time we had with the Singaporean fleet. Our main focus for the regatta was to learn as much as possible about how the Singaporeans sail and how they are so good.


In the training sessions the wind wasn't really as light as we had expected and instead he was a solid 12-15 knots. Unfortunately this wind didn't last for long and when the regatta started the wind dropped down to around 5-8 knots. The regatta was very competitive as they only had one flight so you had all 90 boats starting at the same time! It was crucial to have a good start as if you didn't it would be incredibly hard to get a good result.


The wind was quite shifty and the current was very strong making it tricky sailing conditions. My first races were not great and I never really got in to a rhythm which showed in my results. I didn't have a good regatta at all but I knew the main focus was just to learn and get prepared for the Europeans so I didn't let it bog me down.


Congratulations to Axel and Marcello who had a really had a good regatta! Overall it was a great learning experience and I'm very glad I went. It was lots of fun and chilling out with the gang after sailing each day was loads of fun. Great fried rice too! Big thanks to my coach Alex Zimmerman for organising  the team and keeping me happy even though I didn't have the best of regattas.


Report #2 by Raff Torre


I have recently attended the Singapore Nationals at the National Sailing Federation in Singapore . It was my second time sailing in Singapore . For the first time Cello and I travelled alone and stayed with a billeted family . It was a big adjustment not being with our family but we had fun . I managed to make it to gold fleet cut off  even though my first few days were not great . I was upset by a few races and it affected the first 6 races . I learnt in this regatta to dust off the really bad races and keep trying . The remainder of my races were much better but it was too late to climb up the fleet. I finished 65 out of 79 boats in gold fleet , still an improvement on last time I was here and I learnt a lot about racing . Thankyou for supporting me with a travel grant to attend this regatta.


Report #3 by Marcello Torre


I have recently attended the Singapore Nationals at the National Sailing Federation in Singapore. It was my second time sailing in Singapore. For the first time Cello and I travelled alone and stayed with a billeted family. It was a big adjustment not being with our family but we had fun . I managed to make it to gold fleet cut off  even though my first few days were not great . I was upset by a few races and it affected the first 6 races . I learnt in this regatta to dust off the really bad races and keep trying . The remainder of my races were much better but it was too late to climb up the fleet. I finished 65 out of 79 boats in gold fleet , still an improvement on last time I was here and I learnt a lot about racing. Thankyou for supporting me with a travel grant to attend this regatta.


2015 Optimist European Championships


Pwllheli, Wales by Ezra Kaye


This was the regatta I had been preparing for the whole year. The biggest regatta I have sailed so far; the 2015 Optimist European Championships being held in Wales.


I came to the regatta feeling very excited knowing that it was going to be heaps of fun and I was going to learn heaps. I came with a team of 5 including 4 sailors from WA being Finn ODea, Isabelle Kenny and Liam Pabbruwe and Cole Tapper from NSW. Our coach was Irishman, Dave White who has been based in Victoria for the past few year and this was his third time as the Australian European Team coach.


We arrived a few days early to test the conditions and get our boats perfectly rigged. We also had to get our boats measured which was a real pain as they checked every single thing which made it take forever! They measure sails, spars, foils, the weight of the boat. We all managed to get through fine apart from Liam who’s boat was too light so they had to add a weight. It was all stress free after that though which was good.


The regatta started off with a practice race and the opening ceremony. The practice race a bit of a waste of time as all of the boats took off from the start line with 30 seconds still to go which made it an unfair race. It wasn't completely wasteful as my mainsheet broke which was good as it would have been terrible if it would have happened in the real race.


The highlight of the day was definitely the opening ceremony as we paraded to the yacht club. We made ourselves known with our ear bursting AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE chant.! We had our mascot the boxing kangaroo and a huge Australian flag. It really was a great night.


I woke up the next morning feeling really excited. It was perfect conditions for me, a solid breeze of about 13 knots. My goal for the regatta was to be top Australian and try to beat Josh Pangs 39th which he achieved the year before. My first day was amazing. In the first race I had the best start of the fleet first off the pin and just stayed on top of the fleet for the rest of the upwind. One Spanish sailor crossed me from the right and one Greek crossed from the middle. I was third around the top mark. One Portuguese overtook me on the downwind and I rounded the gate 4th. I gained a bit on the last leg and finished 3rd. The second race I started close to the pin again but it wasn't as good of a start. I managed to play my way up the fleet and I finished 14th. The last race I had a better start and finished 7th. It really was a great day and it was even better when Dave told me that there wasn't a Australian who had a better day in the time he had been coaching. At the end of the day I was coming 8th.


The next day was cancelled due to the fact that you couldn't see halfway up the leg as it was completely fogged up. The day after that it was really windy which wasn't my conditions. This was a disastrous day. I started off with my trademark U Flag which is disqualification as you were over the start line in the last minute. The next race I capsized before the start and I was dead last of the line as the rest of the fleet had already started. Luckily I managed to battle my way back up to the top 20. The last race I had a great start and was in the top 10 around the top mark. I had a fantastic reach and was 3rd around the reach mark. I then surfed as many waves as I could and I was first with about  20 metres to the gate. My mainsheet slipped out of my hand and my boat launched forward causing me to capsize. You have no idea how mad I was. I finished 30th that race.


When racing was over I was dreading that I might not make the gold fleet cut but to my relief I did. I was 46th and the cut was 53. Finn, Cole and Liam made the silver fleet. The next two days were the finals and they were extremely competitive. After the first boat finished you would have the rest of the fleet finishing in under a minute thirty. I struggled in this averaging around 30 in all of my races. The last day we only did 1 race but I was really,  really sick. I had picked up a throat infection and I shouldn't have really sailed but I had come so far and it was only one race. I fought through illness but sadly finished in the 40’s. I finished the regatta 50/159 and top Australian. I didn't quite beat Josh’s 39th but I have to remember he is a really good sailor.


 I would like to thank my parents for paying a fortune to get me to Wales and hiring all of my equipment and I would like to thank FSC for supporting me. A huge thanks to my team mates who made the trip a blast and to my coach Dave White. You were amazing through the regatta and really helped me. I hope you come back to Australia sometime soon! I must also thank my coaches who helped get me ready for the event of my life so far: Alex Zimmerman, Chris Charlwood and Sam Blackburn. Your voices were burning in my ears the whole time!

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