Report on Optimist North American Championships, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, July 2018
This year I was selected to represent Australia in the North American Championships (NAMs) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The regatta had 150 competitors across two fleets ranging from 11-14 years of age. There were sailors from 13 different countries and 4 continents (5 if you count Australia as its own continent) in total. For most of the regatta the conditions ranged from 10-20 knots sea breezes with quite large chop, consistent wind with eventual large shift, going back and forth. The temperature was hot and humid and the water was very warm.
The regatta went for 5 days and included 2 days of qualifiers, 1 day of teams racing then 2 days of finals. The time frame of the racing was challenging as the sea breeze didn’t come in until midday and daily storms coming in around 3-4pm, giving us 3 races a day (if there was wind at all). During the qualifiers my placings started off well and went bad on the second day. This resulted in me being placed, along with the rest of the AUS team, in silver fleet.
The teams racing day turned out to be an extremely light day with little to nothing knots. This caused the race volunteers to change the amount of losses a team could have before being removed from the racing from two to one. This was bad luck for us as we had to face an experienced Argentinian team first which lead to us heading in after the first race. During the finals I sailed extremely well, ending 5th overall (3 points behind 3rd) and first in the Australian team. The conditions were lighter and windier at times than the qualifiers. I managed to sail a clean regatta with no penalties from the jury or OCSs.
By Jono Tuite