Two of our keener Optimist sailors at Maroochy have been missing from our Opti fleet this season as they visited their father’s homeland of Hungary.
Whilst there, Marcel and Eszter Klatsmanyi sailed in the Hungarian Opti Nationals againist a large fleet of very experienced European sailors in some rather testing conditions.
Thanks to their father, Nandor, for the following report and pictures.
We got back home safe and we are currently trying to get rid of the jetlag. I thought I might drop you a quick summary how we went on the Hungarian Opti Nationals.
There were 162 boats from 6 nations. They do not have separate fleets for open, intermediate and green, but by the look of it they had about 100 open fleeters, 50+ intermediate and only a few green fleeters in our terms. They had the usual blue and yellow fleets with 81 on the start line then the last day they would group them to gold and silver fleets as usual.
The weather was a bit strange as on the first day we had 18+ knots with 3 races, the second day no wind at all, the third day 20+ knots with 3 races again and the last day they under 5 knots with a cancelled race.
Marcel made an unlucky start, sailing at the 15th place he got stuck in the boom just 50m before the finish line and got his boat full of water watching about 50 boats passing. Then he gradually worked his way back to within the first 20 in the following races. On the third day the waves were larger and choppier than you would get in Port Phillip Bay and I was glad to see that Marcel could cope with that without much of an experience like that. He made the gold fleet, but there was no races on the last day, so he finished 42nd over all and about 12-14th U12.
Eszter, among a few younger ones, could not finish all races unfortunately, due to the stronger wind conditions. However she made a great effort on the first day and managed the wind really well, However she had some difficulties with the large waves of Balaton - conditions she had never experienced before.. Her age group were not even allowed to go out on the third day. On the last day she was about 40th out of the 81 when the race was cancelled.
Interestingly there were quite lot of 15 years old over 170cm tall boys that is rather unusual in Australia. This made the fleet feel a lot stronger having all these grown kids staying back in the class especially in a favourable weather conditions for them. The Nationals was eventually won by the boy who was the best Hungarian on the recent World Titles who also beat all Australians there.
It was a great experience for the kids and a great pleasure for me to see them sailing the waters I grew up.
We look forward to seeing both Marcel and Eszter resume sailing in our Maroochy waters in the near future.