Murray Duthie – 2023 Optimist World Championships

I arrived in Spain early to compete in the Pre worlds regatta – The Spring Cup. The conditions varied 3 knots to 18knots. 196 competitors which meant I could work on my starts. I sailed well and got into the Gold fleet which was quite challenging. I came 58th overall. We had 5 days off before Rob (my coach) arrived.

Training started with conditions varying again. Big swell to little waves with wind ranging from 0 to 16 knots. We trained with a few other countries which again helped with my starts and also taught me to focus on me and not the other sailors.

Day 1 of qualifying for the World Championship the conditions were really good. Day 2 saw different conditions, with launching from the beach was really tricky as the waves were crashing onto the shore. There were many winds shifts and it ranged from 5 knots to 30 knots all in one race. I found it hard but learned so much. The last day of qualifying I knew I had to work really hard and focus. I came in the middle of the fleet in both races which placed me in the silver fleet sitting 109th overall.

Qualifying was hard physically, mentally and emotionally.

For the next 3 days the sea state was not good, it was unsafe for us to launch from the beach. This left us with 2 days of finals instead of 3 and no teams racing. We launched on the second last day but sadly every race we started got abandoned as the wind was so shifty. 180 degrees many times. We were sent ashore again. 4 days of no racing was frustrating.

On the final day we were held ashore for an hour, but finally got racing. 3 races were sailed which I was super happy with. I was focused and ready to race. I placed 2nd, 6th and 2nd which saw me climb the rankings. Super happy as it placed me 4th overall in the silver fleet and 66th in the World Rankings.

On a side note, there was an on-land E-Sailing regatta, this was held in the evenings and 96 sailors and one coach competed. I made it through to the Grand Final to become the 2023 E-Sailing World Champion. 🙂

I would like to thank the Ron Tough Yachting Foundation for all their support and help.