Axel Sly held onto his commanding lead Sunday to win the US Optimist National Championships hosted by the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, California, but Christopher Williford, the defending champion, made him earn it in tough conditions against strong competition.
Following postponement of the fleet racing, all 36 races in the round robin format Team racing were completed. The only disappointment was that the new IODA team racing course could not be used due to the confines of the sailing area.
The final day of the competition brought 6 knots of breeze and a smooth sea. The sailors waited for over half an hour for a consistent wind direction and for many the time was spent in last minute briefings with their coaches and relaxing before the concentration of the race.
Tonight, the overall winner of the IODA Volvo art competition, Dan Poljsak, was awarded his prize at a ceremony held in front his fellow competitors at the IODA Europeans.
The excellent work of the race committee and great sailing conditions provided four excellent races, which allowed a second discard. At 1935 all the sailors have already returned the charter boats and are getting ready for the closing ceremony, which we expect will be a memorable party.
In just 10 weeks IODA received entries from 30 countries spanning 4 continents, demonstrating how truly global the Optimist class has become and their keen interest in the Volvo race. Many of the sailors in the current Volvo teams began racing in the Optimist class so it is particularly appropriate for IODA and Volvo to come together in running this competition.
Good starts and consistent scores did the trick for fifteen-year-old Axel Sly, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, who won the 17th annual Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta, held out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, U.S. Virgin Islands, June 19 to 21.
After seven races in tricky wind conditions Malaysian sailors Mohamad Faizal B Norisah and Ahmad Latif Khan B Ali Sahri Khan took first and second respectively.