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NZIODA can see bright future for the class

by David Kayrouz - NZIODA president 24 Apr 09:26 NZST
Daniel Links (AUS 1825) and Joe Leith (NZL 4608) - 2019 Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals Day 4, April 2019 - Murrays Bay SC © Rachel von Zalinski - LSD

NZ International Optimist Dinghy Association have been encouraged by the support received since announcing the intention to hold the Optimist national championships at the Worser Bay Boating Club in November.

The NZIODA have clearly seen, through the many creative ways they've tried to keep 'sailing,' that youngsters have been eager to get back out on the water. Hopefully they be able to hold the nationals in Wellington on November 6-9.

David Kayrouz, NZIODA president, wants to encourage sailors to consider entering the white fleet next season - a development fleet between green and open fleets. "It's the perfect place for progressive greenies or others who have been valiantly fighting at the back of the open fleet," he says.

The final rankings for the 2019/20 season have been confirmed. The year's regatta program couldn't be completed because of the current situation, but special congratulations must go to the top five: Joe Leith, pictured above right (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Sean Kensington (Kohimarama Yacht Club), Noah Shirley (MBSC & KYC), Jasper Camenzind (MBSC) and Noah Malpot (Nelson Yacht Club).

That quintet is currently the sailors eligible to represent NZIODA at the world championship. Congratulations are also extended to the top-ranked female, Hermione Aris from Murrays Bay.

The first 25 ranked sailors will be presented their numbered caps in due course and you can see the full rankings list here.

Regrettably, the NZIOA are unable to make decisions regarding travelling or development teams due to the global pandemic and will be guided by the advice of the New Zealand government and IODA.

Despite the current uncertainties, NZIODA are excited to be recruiting an administrator. This presents a major shift for the class aided through the support and encouragement of the OWNZ trust.

This long-overdue step for our biggest national sailing fleet will facilitate improved access and entry into a sport that often becomes a lifetime of enduring friendships and learning.

The Optimist class is wonderfully supported throughout New Zealand by regional clubs, race officers, judges, measurers, mark-layers and beach masters. Many are parents and all volunteer because they see the benefit of the sport to our youngest sailors.

Add to this support from coaches, Yachting New Zealand, funders, sponsors and suppliers, and NZIODA see ample opportunity through this new role for being more proactive with stakeholders in coordinating opportunities for this community. A full job description can be found in the PDF and interest in applying for this permanent part-time position may be made to

The delayed NZIODA AGM will now be held in November at Worser Bay during the national championships. The current committee members have worked well together and the NZIODA are pleased with their achievements to date.

Most will stand again for next season, ensuring continuity. These include Glen Armstrong (Worser Bay Boating Club), Gavin Brady (Wakatere Boating Club), John Bullot (MBSC), Dan Leech (Charteris Bay Yacht Club) and Andy Stone (KYC), and newly standing will be Steve Potbury (Napier Sailing Club).

Thanks go to departing Manu Malpot (Nelson YC) and after three years as president David Kayrouz (WBC) and secretary Bryce Day (MBSC) will step down leaving their executive roles open for election.

NZIODA encourages all clubs actively supporting the Optimist class to identify within their membership suitable candidates to fill the positions of president, secretary and treasurer of the association and to propose their nomination to before September 30th, 2020.

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