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7 July 2010, 10:46 am
Optimist Class Continental Championships
Optimist North American Championship Podium
The medallists celebrate at the 2010 Optimist North American Championship

Kingston, Canada

Saturday 3 July saw the end of the IODA North Americans and the start of two more Continental Championships, the Europeans and the Asians.
With six continental chamionships, a worlds and international regattas too numerous to mention, the Optimist continues to shine as a truly global class for young sailors.

North Americans, Kingston, Canada

Christopher Williford from USA was crowned North American Champion 2010. Christopher sailed consistently throughout the event, finishing among the top ten sailors in all 12 races except for an OCS in race 8; and this is the second time he is awarded the trophy.

Chris was first overall in last year's North American Championship held in the Dominican Republic, but this time Christopher was not 'alone' on the podium since his twin brother Duncan was second overall.

2010 Optimist Europeans - launching in 20 knotsEuropeans, Kamien-Pomorski, Poland

After a slow start in light winds, the IODA European Championship really demonstrated what a challenging and competitive event it is as the boats were launched in 20 knots of wind for three exciting races. 247 sailors, 101 of them girls, from over 40 countries, are competing in one of IODA's largest fleets of the year.

Francesca Russo Cirillo (ITA), is leading the girls fleet with a remarkably consistent set of results after the first five races, her worst result is a fifth in race 3. Anastasiya Krivtsova from Belarus is doing remarkably well with a bullet in race 5. She is proving that although Belarus are recent Optimist members, they are highly competitive.

The boys fleet is much closer, with Nestor Cano (ESP) currently leading, followed closely by Lóránt Péch (HUN).

The racing in Poland, like the North American Championships, is being tracked and can be followed live on the internet. At the venue there is a live race commentary and for those at home, Twitter gives additional information to the event tracking audience. The Optimist class continues to lead the way in bringing sailing to a wider audience through technology.

Asians, Pattaya, Thailand

The IODA Asian Championship, despite the recent political unrest, has a record breaking entry of 100 sailors, the second largest entry on record. Iran are here competing in only their second Continental Championship since becoming IODA members and the Philippines with assistance from the IODA Regional Regatta Grant scheme, is also attending with two sailors after an absence of a number of years.

After five races, the Singapore team are going particularly well here with five sailors placed in the top ten. Elisa Yukie Yokoyama (SIN) leads from her team mate Kimberley Lim, both of whom have achieved remarkably consistent results in what are very challenging sailing conditions - squalls and sometimes light winds with a strong current. Noppakap Poonpat (THA), who finished fourth overall and first girl at the IODA Worlds in Brazil in 2009 is currently fourth.

Picture gallery, Reports, Tracking and Results can all be found on the IODA website: www.optiworld.org

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