We had 78 entries across the three Optimist fleets, and with Victoria currently having the majority of the top Optimist sailors, competitors came from WA, SA, Tasmania, NSW and all over Victoria including Geelong, Indented Head & Cairn Curran for the three day event.
After some very challenging weather for the Schnapper Point regatta four weeks earlier this weekend had the Open & Intermediate fleets competing in winds ranging from 5-18 knots. They completed 8 championship length races which provided plenty of opportunity for everyone to shine.
MYC’s Optimist team was in full flight, in Open division Leigh Harvie 17th, Josh Bacon 30th, in Intermediate division Louis Coates 3rd, Josephine Lott 14th, Zac Oakley 15th & Lila Donnellan in 17th. For the fun Green fleet division led by MYC’s Sail Training Manager Immi Weber & ably assisted by Sophie McKenzie & Anna Cripsy, 20 entrants competed in 11 races in the more sheltered waters off Red Bluff, Linley Jones 8th & Evie Taylor in 12th.
For many of our MYC competitors it was their first regatta and a great opportunity for them to begin their competitive sailing journey on home waters. With this year being our third year running the SLM training program, Junior & Youth OTB sailing at Mornington is well on its way back to its glory days of large participation on Sundays & mid-week and also plenty of up and coming talent to fill the cockpits & bows of our keelboat fleet. The training and development committee are very passionate about Mornington Yacht club being inclusive for all sailors and especially today’s youth who will hopefully be tomorrow’s keel boats owners, committee members & maybe Commodores. The opportunity to run an event which is well attended by inspirational young athletes has hopefully shown our young members that the competitive and more so the social side of sailing can be far greater than just Mornington Yacht Club and this is a lifelong passion.
Leading up to this weekend I thought that one of the key measures of success was the number of participants you had and felt we failed before the weekend had started as we didn’t meet our targeted entries. Boy was I wrong, the key measure is the enjoyment it brings to everyone involved. The amount of families that approached me across the weekend and especially yesterday to tell me how the parents and children had a great weekend, were made to feel welcome, couldn’t believe how organised and well run the weekend was and how it was one of the best they had been to in a long time as the atmosphere was relaxing. As too, many coaches and sailing professionals who are traveling to events all over the world commented that it’s not often you see a club that operates together so well as a team. I have thought that we use the word team lightly sometimes, but the amount of our members who turned up for one or three days, don’t have kids participating or for that matter don’t even sail themselves anymore and members who cancelled other events just to help and participate is one of the greatest definitions of team I can think of. Every person that helped over the weekend and leading up to the event does it without arrogance or attitude, is happy to do whatever is asked of them and always has a jovial approach.
These events don’t happen without some external help as well and Peter Merritt from McCrae YC kindly gave up his time to be the Race Officer for the Open & Intermediate fleet on Alpha course. John Maclurcan from SailSys came down from Sydney to assist with the regatta registration through the SailSys program and John was on the finish boat entering the finishers straight into the SailSys and publishing the race result well before the competitors were back on shore which is also brilliant for a junior regatta where a large number of parents are observing from the shore. Sorrento Couta Boat & Sailing Club also lent boats, marks & other equipment which takes a huge burden off us.
Thank you again to everyone who was at the club over the weekend and if you weren’t around maybe next time we host a regatta be part of the volunteer family or just come down to the club lounge and soak up the great atmosphere that is created when our club is in full swing.