Baker leads Optimist US Nationals
Published on July 15th, 2018
Pensacola, FL (July 15, 2018) – The 2018 Optimist US National Championship got underway today for the 256 competitors, with Stephan Baker leading the field after four races. Baker rolled a 1-4-2-1 to lead by one point over Malthe Ebdrup (DEN) in second with Peter Foley 10 points off the lead in third. Samara Walsh, the top girl so far, is in fourth with 21 points (10,7,2,2).
The fleet was initially greeted by light summer air, but as the noon hour passed the sea breeze began to fill in like clockwork, the first set of three class starts rifled off at 11:38 after an AP delay waiting for the wind to fill in to a steady four knot minimum.
Winds and currents throughout the northern Gulf Coast can be notorious, but today the summer conditions didn’t disappoint the sailors anticipation for fine sailing as the pressure built to a steady 12-14 knots from the south through three races. With clouds building up, but staying completely over land and not wanting to waste the opportunity, Race Committee opted to toss in a bit of ‘lagniappe’ (Louisiana speak for Something extra) to the sailors and the fleet pulled out a fourth full set.
The championship week will be divided into three events with the largest, the Nationals on July 15-18. The focus then shifts to the Girls Nationals on July 19 and the Team Race Nationals on July 20-22.