The 2023 Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championships took place in Abu Dhabi in some of the most challenging onshore and light conditions. With strong heat feeling like upwards of 40 degrees, there were many challenges both on and off the water. The event saw competitors from over 28 countries take place in a 160 boat fleet. Sorrento members Maya Cantwell and Augustas Buividas showed off their skills in the tricky racing which took place towards the twilight portions of the day where the heat was bearable and the thermal breeze came through. Races were completed in relative darkness and it was a new experience to all involved as what little breeze they had continued to play tricks as the days evolved. All the Aussie sailors were supported by Jack Lewis. Maya showed great signs of improvement in her starting at her first IODA event, which saw packed lines that were extremely difficult to get a clean start from. In her last day she managed to be in contention rounding top 10 around the top mark in numerous occasions – something which was extremely challenging in such a strong fleet.
Augustus Buividas managed the regatta really well, qualifying for gold fleet and comfortably winning a race when the breeze got up. Extremely impressive considering the lack of exposure to these less than 4 knot conditions, which in Sorrento would see us going backwards with the tide. The Aussies managed to win the Oceanian Teams Racing Championships, with Maya 7th, best placed Australian and Augustus won the first placed Oceanian sailor at the event.
Augustas Buividas – 25th, 1st Oceanian
Maya Cantwell – 138th, 11th Oceanian
Congratulations Maya, Augustus and thanks to Coach Jack!