And the big day arrived! The first three races of the event took place in excellent sailing conditions, with winds varying from 7 to 15 knots, depending on the side of the course, which is usually set so that the first beat is on open seas, where the wind blows stronger, while the second beat is located to leeward of the hill, sheltered from the wind but gustier. This is great, as the same course has advantages and disadvantages for everyone!!
The boat park saw anxious delegations and busy officials and volunteers arriving early in the morning, all of them enganged in last minute preparations. The coaches meeting took place on time at 9:00 and the usual topics were covered: waiting area, sailors returning to the starting line keeping clear of those racing, fleets, starting sequences, etc. Team leaders were also busy doing check - out and the race office was bustling with activity. The Delta flag was displayed at 9:55 and by 10:20 the boat park was empty.
Most of the starts were clean: the RC scored only 4 UFDs, three in race 1 and one in race 2. The Jury displayed several yellow flags, and two sailors were scored DSQ.
It is only a guess, but it seems that one of the marks was not easy to round: back on shore there was a long queue of sailors waiting to sign the 360/720 declaration form at the race office! All in all, apart from the usual stress, it was an easy day for everybody, and we hope sailors have enjoyed it.
The leaders so far are: first overall Hernán Umpierre from Uruguay, who won 2 out of the three races and finished second in the third; second overall and first female Amparo Stupenengo from Argentina, with finishing positions 6th, 1st and 2nd; and third overall, tied in points with Amparo, is Chilean sailor Benjamín Fuenzalida. The first North American sailor, fourth overall and second girl is Mia Nicolosi from US Virgin Islands. And the first sailor from Antigua is River Andrews, in 77th position because of a UFD in the second race, otherwise he would have been in the top ten. Go, River, go!!!
Two races are scheduled for tomorrow, starting at 11, hence we expect the fleet to be back on shore at 2pm at the latest, with enough time to prepare for the team races on Thursday.
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The SEABOARD MARINE Optimist North American Championship 2016 is organised by the Antigua Yacht Club under the authority of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). The venue is Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour and it takes place from July 10th to July 18th. Entries are still open and it is expected to have +160 participants from more than 15 countries. Already entered: Argentina, Antigua, Brazil, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Peru, USA, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Mexico.
For a programme, click here.
Major Sponsor: SEABOARD MARINE
Other Sponsors: Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort, The Catamaran Hotel, National Parks Antigua, Oasis, Pinehill, Antigua Pro Racing, Club Sushi, Brydens and Yao.
The organisers of the Optimist North American Championship 2016 together with the Antigua Yacht Club wish to thank the following for their support, donations and contributions without which these championships would not be happening.