WPNSA celebrates with 300 optimist sailors
Three hundred Optimist sailors took to the water in Portland Harbour over the weekend to help celebrate the start of the two-year countdown until the beginning of the Olympic games in 2012.
Wawtched by members of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) the 300 young sailors successfully co-ordinated eight tacks in a row after a signal – a common training challenge that has never been attempted in such huge numbers before.
The challenge took place before the practice race which kicks off an exciting week of sailing in the Volvo Musto Optimist British National and Open Championship.
The youth regatta welcomes 498 sailors across three classes from across Europe, Asia and even Oceania.
Later in the week the Optimist fleet will be treated to a visit from Olympians Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark who will be taking time out of their busy schedule to go out on the water with the youth sailors and offer advice and tips.
Triple Olympian champion Ben Ainslie began his journey to the top of the sport in an Optimist and he will be making an appearance during the week as well.
John Tweed, Chief Executive at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, said, ‘The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was the perfect location for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to host this Open Weekend Challenge. The Optimist fleet managed an impressive 8 tacks on the whistle as a group providing a stunning display for those watching.’