2016 Trinity Point NSW Optimist State Championship - Wrap Up

by Melissa Williams-Brown

The 2016 Trinity Point NSW Optimist State Championship took place over the March 19/20 weekend at South Lake Macquarie Amateur Sailing Club (SLMASC) in Sunshine, NSW. Winds were anywhere from light to moderate over the two days and oscillating, which provided challenging conditions for many of our competitors.

The Open Fleet, consisting of 44 sailors, completed eight races over two days. The Intermediate fleet, comprised of 62 sailors, completed six races over two days.   The Green fleet had an impressive amount of entrants this year! With 60 sailors, the fleet raced in two separate flights, red and yellow, with SLMASC sailors representing the majority of participants. Woollahra Sailing Club had the highest number of entrants from any one club and several sailors travelled great distances (SA and QLD) to participate in the regatta.

This regatta also was also the inaugural (post-ACL surgery) racing event for one of our well-known and well-liked NSW sailors, Oliver Gordon. Oli’s last regatta was the 2015 NSW State Championship. Just after that regatta, and coincidentally on the same day his new Opti arrived, Oli was injured playing soccer and he tore his ACL. Oli’s mom donated her hamstring for his surgery and both worked through a huge amount of physio and rehab throughout the last year. For the last year, the closest thing to sailing his new Opti would be looking at it during dinner and rehab, as the new Opti sat in the Gordon’s dining room (aka rehab central)! Through all of that, Oli still maintained a presence at various regattas as he felt compelled to support and cheer on his fellow sailors (I personally witnessed this while on a boat with him during a local regatta). Oli has also put his time off from sailing to constructive use; he has been on the start boat at his home club learning race management (watch out Jeremey)! With a burning desire to get in his new boat (and with a new ACL thanks to mom), he finished his rehab a few months early and was given the all clear to race during the NSW State Championship! His time off hasn’t kept him down as he placed a very respectable 8th out of a fleet of very competitive sailors! Well done, Oli!! It is the drive; dedication and sportsmanship that sailors like you have that inspire everyone in the sailing community!

Podium places from the regatta are:

Green Fleet (Red Flight):

1st Place – Ruby Cowan

2nd Place – Walter Tuite

3rd Place – Nathan Goh

Green Fleet (Yellow Flight):

1st Place - Hayley Messenger

2nd Place - Grace Morrow

3rd Place - Dylan Ryan

Intermediate Fleet:

1st Place - Darcy Hillhouse

2nd Place – Trent Beashel

3rd Place – Ryan Ewings

Open Fleet:

1st Place – Archie Cropley

2nd Place – Will Cooley

3rd Place – Ryan Littlechild

First Placed Girl (Open): Ashleigh Swadling

First 11 year-old: Olivia Williams

Complete race results are here.

The volunteers and club officials of SLMASC put in an extraordinary amount of time and preparation into hosting this event. Each morning, I saw volunteers inside the club well before 6AM, preparing for the day ahead - the same folks that were the last to leave the night before. NSWIODA, the sailing families and our supporters greatly appreciate the hard work of the dedicated volunteers, whether it was in the canteen, on the water or on the grill!

The 2016 Trinity Point NSW Optimist State Championship had several sponsors and supporters this year and NSWIODA would like to thank them for their support of the event. Our valued sponsors support the Optimist class, sailing and our youth. NSWIODA greatly appreciates the support of our sponsors, whether it is financial or through a valuable product donation. Please consider supporting our sponsors whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sponsors for this event include:

Trinity Point (Johnson Property Group) – Title Sponsor

Zhik - our Product Sponsor

Burke and Harken – donated some awesome prizes for the sailors

Steggles - donated a variety of tasty food for our competitors

Melissa Williams-Brown Photography – donated the personalized acrylic photo trophies awarded to the TT series award recipients

Pictured:  Oliver Gordon (RPAYC) racing for the first time in a year since his ACL injury

Photo Credit:  Melissa Williams-Brown


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