Murray Duthie

I attended the International Optimist Dinghy Africans Championship which was held in South Africa.  This was the first time Australia had attended the African regatta. There were 66 competitors in total.

The conditions varied from 2 knots to 23 knots and lots of wind shifts.   I made many friends, and the experience was amazing. Off the water, we had to contend with power shedding, where the electric would be cut off for 2-3 hours, 3 times a day, helping me realise how fortunate we are in Australia. I managed to get a podium place, ending up 2nd overall.  

At the 2023 National Championship held at RPAYC in New South Wales we had 3 days of training in strong winds.  When the regatta started, there were 3 days of qualifying which then separated the fleet of 90 Open fleet sailors into gold and silver fleet.  The winds varied and was very shifty, the race officer altered the course a few times. There were 2 super yachts came through the middle of the course on the 4th day of racing which we had to use quick thinking and change strategy.

Overall, I came 1st equal but 2nd overall on count back.   With my result I have achieved my goal and qualified for the Australian Optimist Worlds Team.  I will be travelling to Costa Brava in Spain in June 2023. 

The regattas I am attending soon are:

The spring cup (pre regatta for worlds), then training for 10 days and finally doing my first ever World Championship in the Optimist, my goal for Worlds is to get into the gold fleet but it will be tough with over 200 sailors. 

My biggest learning from sailing is to never give up and put into practice the strategies I have learned from my amazing coaches.