NZL Yachting Trust Optimists: A World’s First at French Bay

Two 2014 Worlds Team members, Lewis Anderson (81) and Kerensa Jennings (astern) - Day 5, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC
Since the Opti Nationals at Manly way back in April, the NZL Yachting Trust Optimist Worlds Team members have been keeping a relatively low profile.

First of all taking a well earned rest for a month or so before joining their fellow enthusiastic Opti kin at the Auckland Winter Sprint Series hosted around the Auckland clubs. Whilst their coaching and sailing programme started to ramp up at the beginning of July it has frequently been thwarted by the fickle winter weather of too much breeze or simply none at all – particularly frustrating for the only non-Auckland based team member, Worser Bay’s Sam Bacon, as his Auckland visits seem to have been especially jinxed.

P1010475 - AWSS - French Bay
John Jennings

The rest of the NZLYT Opti Team comprises: National Champion Scott McKenzie and Lewis Anderson (both KYC) and Kerensa Jennings and Jackson Keon (both MBSC).

With the last three AWSS cancelled due to excessive breeze (or in MBSC case excessive waves and excessive drop from the heavily eroded boat ramp) the forecast for today’s inaugural AWSS at French Bay was a welcome relief.

P1010455 - AWSS - French Bay
John Jennings

For those of us from the well established clubs, such as MBSC and KYC, it has been great to see French Bay reestablishing themselves on the sailing scene in recent years with more and more of their sailors attending the various junior regattas and putting together some great events like the forthcoming Young Challengers Cup. It is sincerely hoped that such enterprise is rewarded.

I stand to be corrected but I suspect it was a World First for any (ever) Worlds Team Opti sailor to sail out of French Bay; certainly it was a French Bay debut for vast majority of the sailors present.

A very friendly and helpful crew from French Bay helped all us first timer timers; in fact the only thing that seemed to be missing was an infamous bogan westie. And in an inspired move to ensure that all went smoothly on the water they recruited Kim Admore as the RO for the day. Kim did a great job to bang away four short sharp races for the three fleets: P-Class, Opti and Starling.

P1010457 - AWSS - French Bay
John Jennings

So with a Worlds First event unfolding at French Bay it was appropriate that the Worlds’ were first, …… and second, and third and fourth. Kerensa taking principal honours for the day, with Jackson second, Sam third, Scott fourth, and Lewis seventh due to having to carry a DNC after missing the first race (due to focussing on his footie with his team securing a first (yawn) place finish in their league with a game to spare).

To wrap things up, Logan Beckman (MBSC) took out the honours in his Starling whilst Seb Lardies (KYC) had bragging rights in the P-Class.

Stay tuned for further updates as the NZLYT Opti Worlds Team build up to their departure for Argentina in 8 weeks.