Daily News: Sunday 1st August 2010
Registration and Measurement are complete. Everyone is successfully through all the hoops and the practice race is underway.
There was a preliminary briefing setting out how the event will be run. Nigel Shaw, Event Organiser; Roger Bebbington, Race Officer; David Booth, IODA Vice President and Mohamed Azzoug, Jury Chairman, all spoke briefly. The sailing instructions were distributed and we are underway. The practice race will test out the course and all the other systems to allow us to be ready for tomorrow.
The kids have to get their prepared boats from the boat park holding area down “cardiac hill” to the beach where they launch. The kids then sail down the creek on a broad reach, under the Kilifi Bridge, past the Kilifi Boat Yard Marina and all its anchored yachts and on to the race area in the bowl of the creek. The coaches have to catch the Mnarani water taxi to the Kilifi Boatyard where all their boats are moored. The logistics of this have required careful planning and coordination by all concerned. Many of the residents of Kilfi and further afield have very kindly allowed us to use their boats for the event. These Championships would not have been possible without the huge and generous local support often from people with no involvement in sailing.
The practice race got off to a competitive start. In winds that were affected by the storm clouds passing overhead. There were a number of general recalls due to the shifting winds but the race committee let the start go in more steady wind conditions. The first beat proved longer than anticipated so the second buoy was moved nearer the windward mark to keep the course sailing to expected times. We are trying out a new course design set by the local race committee and IODA so there were a few adjustments that will need to be made before the 1st race tomorrow. It was a good exercise for both the sailors and the race committee to become familiar with the requirements. The course is set out below.
Everyone enjoyed the Opening Ceremony held on the beach at Mnarani Club this afternoon. Dhows decorated with flags and accompanied by a fanfare escorted the dignitaries for the Opening Ceremony. They sailed up the creek from where they had been watching the Practice Race. The competitors then followed the drummer down to the beach and out onto the pier, dressed in their team uniforms each team bearing their country’s flag. Kenya lead the procession followed by Algeria, Angola, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Mauritius, Mozambique, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zimbabwe. The visiting teams each raised their country flags and while all stood for Kenyan National Anthem the Kenyan flag was raised.
Then followed the Mixing of the Waters Ceremony. The youngest member of each team poured some water, brought from their home country, into a large urn placed on the beach symbolising the coming together of all the countries.
Nigel Shaw, Event Organiser, began the speeches, introducing Mr Katee Mwanza the District Commissioner, Mrs Florence Sitawa the District Officer, Mrs Grace Kakai the OCPD, and Mr Christopher Siele the DO1. Mr Mwanza welcomed all of the competitors and guests to Kenya. Then David Booth the Vice President of IODA spoke; thanking the local community for their support and welcoming Mozambique who are attending their first international optimist event. The DC, Mr Mwanza then declared the Championships officially open.
All the guests, wearing frangipani garlands provided by the Manrani Club, then enjoyed the music of the band, and the party began.
We look forward to the formal sailing which begins tomorrow…