2023 Australian Optimist Championship report

Published Sun 15 Jan 2023

The 2023 Australian Optimist Championships were held at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) on Pittwater in Sydney from January 10-14 2023. There were 176 sailors competing across Open, Intermediate and Greenfleet, including 29 Victorians.

Day One had a great breeze, allowing 3 races for Open fleet and 2 for Intermediate fleet. Callum Simmons and Lottie Griffith both won one race in Open fleet. On Day 2 the wind was very light, and sailors spent a lot of time waiting on water while the race committee moved multiple times trying to find a steady wind direction. Open and Intermediate eventually completed 2 races in very tricky conditions. Lottie Griffith won 2 races in Open fleet. Day 3 had a better breeze, close to 10 knots, and both Open and Intermediate completed 2 races, finishing the qualifying series for Open fleet. Augustus Buividas won 2 races. Day 4 started the finals series for Open fleet with winds up to about 15 knots and 3 races for Open fleet and 2 for Intermediate.  Callum won one race in Open fleet. The last day, Day 5, provided wind up to about 15-20 knots, allowing Open fleet to complete the finals series with 2 races, and Intermediate also had 2 races.  Callum and Augustus each won a race. Greenfleet completed 3 races on all 5 days, with Rachael Benoy winning one race.

Over the 5 days Pittwater provided shifty winds that made for challenging conditions for everyone. The racing was close and exciting.

Congratulations to:
Callum Simmons - 1st overall in Open fleet
Augustus Buividas - 3rd overall in Open fleet
Jorja Mahoney - 4th overall and 1st female in Open fleet
Lottie Griffiths - 2nd female in Open fleet
Rachael Benoy - 3rd overall in Greenfleet

Callum, Augustus and Jorja qualified to represent Australia at the World Opti Championships.

Thanks to RPAYC, Jeremey Atkinson and the rest of the volunteers that made this event so great.