The 2017 SA Optimist Frostbite Regatta, which was hosted by the Goolwa Aquatic Club and sponsored by Binks Marine, was a great success for the class in South Australia, attracting more than 70 boats and even bringing in some talented sailors from interstate.

Sun & Earth Sunscreen also supported the event by donating sun screen to all Open Fleet sailors at registration and to all prize winners at the presentation. You may also have seen Sun & Earth stickers on the sailors’ booms.

The regatta followed on from a successful 2016/17 season that saw the class nationals held at Largs Bay Sailing Club during the Christmas/New Years period and a number of local South Australian events to go along with it, all of which drew strong fleets.


Open Fleet

Day one saw very light and shifty conditions where only one race was able to be sailed in the morning session. Edward Reid was able to take the win in that race for the Open Fleet. The afternoon session however was looking very doubtful, but the wind came in and settled for a nice light breeze where four races were able to be sailed. Mason Mahoney took out Race 1, Carter Baker got across the line first in Race 2, Ben Hinks won Race 3 and Mason Mahoney again in Race 4, leaving the Open Fleet regatta wide open at the end of the first day.

Day two saw five races held for the Open Fleet with Carter Baker taking out another race in the first of the day, Ben Hinks taking Race 2, Edward Reed winning his first of the event in Race 3, Austin Higgins getting the bullet in Race 4 and then back to Ben Hinks for the final race of the day. The overall results saw the ever-consistent Ben Hinks sail well enough in the light and challenging breezes to secure a solid nine-point win. He finished ahead of Edward Reed in second and Mason Mahoney in third.

Bridget Conrad won the award for first female, while Austin Higgins was the first under 10, Mason Mahoney was the first under 11 and Edward Reid was the first under 12. The Race Officer’s award for the Open Fleet was won by Albert Howard.


Intermediate Fleet

The first day of racing for the Intermediate Fleet saw Will Dallisson take out the opening race and the only one for the morning, while he continued his form into the afternoon winning the next race as well. Jake Steele won the third race of the day and Scott Horn took race four and five, leaving the scorecard wide open going into the second day.

On Day 2, Jake Steele took the first race of the day, while the next two races were won by Zane Chaplin. Race nine of the regatta was won by Charlie Piro, with the 10th and final race of the regatta being won again by Will Dallison. There was a great bunch of performances in the Intermediate Fleet with many graduating from Green Fleet at the end of last season.

There were some great performances throughout the entire Intermediate Fleet but Charlie Piro was far too consistent in the end, managing to get a five-point lead at the end of the regatta to claim first place. He was followed by Jake Steele in second place with 36 points and Will Dallisson in third with 37. A great regatta had by all Intermediate Fleet sailors, who are looking very strong for the upcoming 2017/18 season.

Lilly Witty won the award for the first female in the Intermediate Fleet, while Jorja Mahoney was the winner of the Race Officer’s award.


Green Fleet

The Green Fleet was by far the strongest fleet in terms of numbers for this year’s Frostbite Regatta, so much so it was split into two groups, a green and an orange, with the Orange Fleet being for the less experienced kids. There was a heap of coaching available for this regatta with coaches nurturing the sailors around the course. Finishing in first overall was Darcy Higgins, Zoe Robinson was second and Evie Konings was third.

The Green Fleet saw many good performances with a variety of different winners throughout the regatta and there were some great improvements by some of these sailors.

Zoe Robinson added the award for first female in the Green Fleet to her second place, while Kelly Steele won the Race Officer’s award.

In the Orange Fleet, first overall went to Grady Sayers, second to Will Van Riet and third place was won by Enrique. Ila Chaplin won the award for first female in the Orange Fleet. It was great to see such an enthusiastic contingent of sailors in these two categories, which is a great sign for the growing Optimist class in 2017/18.

Overall, the light conditions persisted for the Regatta and made for some interesting and exciting lead changes in all the fleets. Sailors all were good sports and there was fair and competitive sailing across the board. The inaugural Green Fleet Treasure Hunt Adventure Sail was enjoyed by all sailors with coaches taking small groups of sailors on adventure sail around the surrounding waters of Goolwa, having to answer questions and find out clues to win some treasure when they got back to the yacht club.

The regatta was a great success for the International Optimist Dinghy Association of South Australia (IODASA) as well as the Goolwa Aquatic Club (GAC). IODASA are very grateful for the support GAC showed the class.


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