Day 2 of the Capital Insurance Brokers ACT Optimist Championships wowed the “stadium” crowd on the lawns of the Canberra Yacht Club today with 126 boats racing in fifteen to thirty knots of nor’westerly on Lake Burley Griffin.
“I have never seen an Opti go so fast” said Matthew Owen, Opti parent, experienced sailor and CEO of the Canberra Yacht Club who was back to oversee racing today after supporting his staff member Stephen Hart, named as joint winner of “Instructor of the Year” at the Australian Sailing Awards overnight. “Being a part of the crowd that had built on the lawns to watch the action was just incredible and well worth a big day at the office” commented Matt.
For parents, from locals like Matt, to visitors the Canberra Yacht Club is a favourite because of this very unique “stadium” experience. “We can sit here and watch the kids sail from the bank” explained Opti Mum, Kim Bradford from Gosford. “It’s a great environment, a great regatta and we encourage everyone to come. It’s just perfect”.
And it seems that once a family comes to the Canberra Yacht Club for a regatta, they also return not just to Canberra, but to other “away” events. “My son Logan is eleven and he is in Intermediate fleet. He did his first regatta here last year in Green fleet.They were great, lots of great coaching and advice, and that really made him want to do regattas. And since then we’ve been travelling. We are a bit addicted now, heading all over the place. It’s a great community” commented Kim.
From talking with parents to the kids themselves, there were only positive things to say about racing from the Canberra Yacht Club from the amount of space to rig and race, to fresh water and a great atmosphere on and off the water. For the local kids, there is definitely a strong sense of pride to race for their club. “It’s [Canberra’s] just got such a good community, everyone’s mates down here” said Daniel Roos when I spoke to him yesterday.