Recently we had two of our young sailors compete at the 2015 Optimist Nationals at Worser Bay, James Bitchener and Shania Ostenberry representing Plimmerton Boating Club, both performed very well in their first ever nationals. Both James and Shania competed in the open fleet against sailors from all round NZ. Because of the very large fleet the sailors are split into 3 different flights - gold, silver and bronze approximately 50 to 60 boats each flight. James did very well to qualify for the silver fleet - Shania qualified for the bronze fleet.
Sailing at this level is very difficult and there is so much to learn just by being there so it is fair to say that James and Shania had mixed fortunes in there relative flights both with some good and not so good results. Good starts is absolutely critical in these fleets and is key to getting good results, these races are so often won and lost on the first beat to windward. James finished 50th overall in the silver fleet with a best placing of 15th in one of the earlier qualifying races. Shania finished 29th overall in bronze fleet with a best placing of 10th on the last day.
It is my hope that we can take an even larger team next year - you learn so much at these events and the experience gained is like gold to our club and the future success of our sailing programme. Well done James and Shania.
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