After not one, but two cancellations of the 2018 Musto SA Optimist State Championship this season, finally the regatta will be sailed this weekend as part of the iconic Frostbite Regatta in Goolwa.
The event will combine the two major events of the South Australian Optimist season and will see a strong turnout with just less than 70 boats entered.
Sponsored by Binks Marine and hosted by the Goolwa Regatta Club, the Frostbite Regatta is one of the staples on the SA yachting calendar and also incorporates a number of other classes such as Lasers, 420s, Open Bics, 29ers and International Cadets.
This year’s event is shaping up to be close at the top of the Open fleet, with a plethora of local and interstate talent nominated to compete.
International Optimist Dinghy Association of South Australia president Anthony Roe said the fleet was one of the closest seen for a State Championship in recent years.
“This year will be hard to pick, as 12 of the open fleet sailors from this season have moved on to sail 420s, Lasers and Cadets,” he said.
“Of those that remain, I feel it will be hard fought amongst Myles Wilson, Austin Higgins and Isaac Hart, who all sailed very well at nationals.
“We have some strong up-and-comers locally, as well as some interstate visitors who may shake things up.”
The regatta will also see strong showings in the Intermediate and Green fleets, which have a clear focus on learning and development and are seeing real growth in the abilities of the sailors.
Anthony also said the location of the Goolwa Aquatic Club provided the ideal waters for a safe learning environment.
“The Optimist class is going from strength to strength in South Australia and is getting a good regular class at GAC, the calm safe waters provide an outstanding learning environment for these kids.”
The class is showing a solid succession plan for junior sailors in South Australia with many of the top sailors preparing for upcoming international regattas, as well as new families joining the class from Tackers programs.
“Second-hand boats have been going like hot cakes,” Anthony said.
“2018/2019 will be a strong year and as an association we are looking forward to supporting various clubs where we can and provide nurturing, training, and regatta opportunities for sailors.”
The Musto SA Optimist States and Binks Marine Frostbite Regatta will be held on Saturday and Sunday this week with racing hosted by the Goolwa Aquatic Club.