For Optimist sailors in NSW, the coming of spring marks not only a change in water temperatures on the coast for the better, but the opportunity to travel to regattas including the ACT Optimist Championship on 29 and 30 October.
Sailed on the waters of Lake Burley Griffin from the family-friendly Canberra Yacht Club, this annual regatta is a key event for many Optimist families, and is on target to attract in excess of eighty entries.
Traks Gordon, who has coached and mentored many sailors to the highest level, and is now and Opti parent himself, commented that sailing events from the Canberra Yacht Club was not just about the racing but the camaraderie and confidence that Lake Burley Griffin builds.
“The ACT Optimist Championship is almost always the first regatta we send new Opti families to” said Traks. “All the kids stay in the same suburb, have dinner together. They have fun on and off the water all weekend” which we can all agree is important for young sailors in their founding years.
“At their first away event, kids can really start to see where this sport can take them” commented Traks, and he feels that Canberra really provides the venue for kids to experience regattas for the first time away from their local waters.
“My son has done this regatta four or five times, and it’s his favourite because it was first” praised Traks on his own son’s behalf, “it really is a highlight for him and his mates”.
Going “on tour” is a big part of sailing at any age, but the Canberra Yacht Club is perfect for developing sailors due to the nature of the geography, providing safety, as well as front row seats for all.
“The kids feel safe sailing on the lake because there is nowhere for them to go, and they know that their parents are able to watch on” said Traks of sailing on Lake Burley Griffin.
“We don’t need ribs in the capital, just bring your own deck chair” confirmed Matt Owen, CEO of the Canberra Yacht Club. “Racing is just forty metres from the shore, so family and friends can all be a part of the action while visiting our beautiful yacht club here in Canberra”.
Sailors will also have the opportunity to win a brand new J Sail as a lucky door prize for entering the regatta, promoting the participation factor that the ACT Optimist Championship is proud to encourage.
For more information on this fantastic event for Optimist families, head to www.canberrayc.com.
Racing on 29 and 30 October 2016
Early entry – $60 up to 25/10/16
Late entry – $90 from 26/10/16 up to 1800 hours on 28/10/16
More information including online entry and the NOR here: http://canberrayc.com/specevents.php
A big thanks to Ally Bryan for all of the amazing images throughout this article.