Sailing success for optimists

Despite tsunami warnings and wild weather conditions causing disruption to the fleet, the Australian International Optimist Dinghy Association still successfully held its 2022 Musto Australian Championships at the Georges River 16' Sailing Club from January 15-20.

There were three classes of competition on show for the under 15-year-old sailors: Opens, Intermediate and the new-to-sailing 'Green' fleet.

Australian president Jeremey Atkinson said 119 sailors participated in the national titles, hailing from every State except for Western Australia.

"Defending champion Aiden Simmons from Victoria asserted an early dominance in the event to secure the championship with two races to spare," Atkins said.

"Sailors managed a number of unusual conditions throughout the week from sitting ashore on the first scheduled day of racing due to the tsunami warning, to strong winds on two days pushing the upper limits of racing conditions.

"All sailors showed great skill and tenacity."

In the beginner's Green Fleet division Eamon Goodsall from Queensland, sailing in his first regatta, demonstrated a high level of skill and will be a name to watch in the future.

Atkins said the volunteers and management at Georges River 16' Sailing Club should be commended for putting on a fantastic event on short notice. He said that sailors and families were not only smiling, but thankful for the opportunity given the cancellations and lockdowns of the last two years.