Six races for each division (18 in all) have now been fully tracked at the IODA North American Championship, underway since Monday 27 Jun.
This championship is being hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston, at Portsmouth Harbour, once the venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Canada. Kingston has a reputation for being one of the worlds greatest fresh water sailing venues and the conditions here so far have ranged from light to gusts exceeding 25 knots at times, a considerable challenge for the 200 sailors, many of whom are attending their first IODA continental championship.
The tracking has been a great success so far and has proved far more useful than ever expected. In the strong winds, there was concern raised for a sailor who had not been seen for some time by his coach. The tracking team were able to give his position immediately and rescue were able to confirm that he was still sailing in what were now quite difficult conditions, not just due to the wind strength but also the cold.
The event had a surprise visitor today, Paddy Boyd, Executive Director of the Canadian Yachting Association. He made a particular effort to meet the tracking team and said:
"I have been following the Optimist North Americans with particular interest in the tracking service. Fantastic! - you (tracking team) and the class deserve high praise for investing resources, both financial, staff and volunteers in this area, which, I believe, shows how we can use the latest technology to portray our sport to the vast audience that can't make it to the race course."
The audience at home have been able to watch an impressive performance from Christopher Williford (USA), who, with Mathias Dyck from Ecuador have put in a remarkably consistent performance to be slowly pulling away from the rest of the field. In tenth place overall and leading girl is Alie Toppa (USA), just ahead of Caterina Romero Aguirre from Peru.
The racing continues tomorrow with the Optimist Team Racing North American Championship and the Optimist Nations Cup, the former of which will have the Final fully tracked.
For results visit: www.optinam2010.org/results
You can follow all of these events and more on Facebook, Twitter and the Live Event Tracking viewer.