The CSC Optimist Championships returns this year with a large cohort of new sailors in the Silver Fleet – amounting to a third of all 89 participants. After 2 years of no racing, it was great to see Singapore’s best youth sailors congregating at Changi Sailing Club to race over 2 weeks, with the 7-9 December scheduled for the Silver Fleet.
With a strong outgoing tide and a light westerly breeze, many sailors faced their first challenge not on the start line, but at the beach. Launching the optimist boat in these conditions can be difficult for new sailors, struggling to free themselves from the Jetty and get to the race course on time. Thankfully coaches, staff and parents were quick to assist the struggling oppies – soon making their way to the race course by the most effective method (under tow!).
Sailors weren’t the only ones struggling on water – the Race Committee had to go through a heavy thunderstorm, 2 abandonments, 2 postponements and finally an enactment of the Black Flag to notch a successful start and the only Race for Day 1. The race was conducted in a light easterly breeze, too light for most of the fleet to complete – thus an S Flag was displayed to signal a shortened course for all 89 sailors. At the top was CSC’s very own Cecilia Kong (715)! Cecilia sailed an intelligent race, scoring her first bullet for this Regatta. She placed narrowly ahead of 4 very close rivals: Kevn (3118), Elliot (3103) and Maia (771). Together with Maia, 2 CSC boats in the top 4 of the Silver Fleet is a pretty good start for Day 1!
The rest of the 20-strong CSC Team were scattered across the fleet for the first race, certainly not an accurate representation of what they could achieve for the remaining 2 days of racing. We look forward to more consistent winds for Day 2 and 3 – good luck to all competitors!