We´re ending this year and beginning the next in fine style here in New Zealand, not just the first to see the New Year arrive, but right on the spot for the 2019 O´pen BIC World Championships.
The official opening ceremony was held with excellently humorous speeches including one by none other than serial America´s Cup winner and host club Commodore Sir Russell Coutts. Plus, a special O´pen Bic performance of a traditional Haka featuring competitors, and their parents!
133 competitors from 8 countries and 4 continents have come to New Zealand to compete for the titles in the U13 and U17 categories.
World Championship racing starts in today (or tomorrow if you are reading this in Europe), but the young sailors have already had some quality warm up time on the spot itself at Manly Bay, with two days of racing for the Manly Open Cup. And it was mostly good news for southern sailors, especially the Wadleys from Australia, with Breanne Wadley winning the U13 and Travis Wadley the U17 fleets.
The other nations will need to get their serious heads on if they´re going to challenge for honors at the main event, which starts today and continues until the 4th January, with New Year´s day kept in reserve. The aim will be to sail 12 races in each fleet, and to run a team race on January 3rd, weather permitting.
The venue is Manly Sailing Club, Whangaparaoa, Auckland, New Zealand, a really beautiful spot, and you can follow all the action on the official event website – https://worlds2019.openbicclass.org
photos: Suellen Davies Live Sail Die