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Back on the High Seas

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It was far from plain sailing for the 2020 New Zealand International Optimist Dinghy Association (NZIODA) Optimist National Championships regatta – which was postponed from earlier this year.

Pushed out to early November, the regatta was held at Worser Bay Boating Club, Wellington. The event was rescheduled when COVID-19 prevented it going ahead at the earlier time.

The NZIODA National Championships is an annual yachting regatta that this year attracted 126 entries from young sailors.

The regatta is held for all sailors within the Optimist age range of 15 years and under, and in 2020 stood alone to determine the 2020 National Class Champion as well as the top-placing NZIODA White and Green fleet sailors for 2020.

The fleet of youth between the ages of nine and 15 competed on the waters off Worser Bay in what is the biggest event on the calendar for the youngsters.

The optimist class of small, single-handed dinghies is considered the breeding ground for the country’s top young sailing talent.

Toyota New Zealand has had a long and enjoyable involvement with yachting in New Zealand, from grassroots level and the Optimist National Championships to the highest level of the sport with our support of Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup since 1992. In 2020 Toyota New Zealand was again the main sponsor of the Optimist National Championships.

The NZIODA National Championships is an annual yachting regatta that this year attracted 126 entries from young sailors.

There was an additional focus for this regatta on it being a ‘clean seas regatta’, ensuring the playground (ocean) was well looked after.

There was an additional focus for this regatta on it being a ‘clean seas regatta’, ensuring the playground (ocean) was well looked after. Participants and their supporters were encouraged to bring reusable cups and their own water bottles, and water use was limited, single-use plastic was avoided and multiple recycling bins for glass, plastic and organic waste were set up and monitored by volunteers throughout the regatta.

Despite the weather affecting two of the sailing days, the regatta officials and Worser Bay Boating Club did a fantastic job in ensuring racing was ahead of schedule in anticipation of the forecast inclement weather. The event was run without issue and feedback from visiting sailors and supporters was nothing but positive. The continued interest in and strong competition at the Optimist National Championships bode well for the future of New Zealand yachting, and our country’s continued success on the world yachting stage.

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