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Optimist West Coast Championship Sailed on Lumpy Seas

On August 13-14, Del Rey Yacht Club hosted the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) West Coast Championship. The three competing divisions are Red, Blue and White, depending on skills, Red being the most skilled level. The kids raced outside Marina del Rey. Conditions started out with lumpy seas and 5-6 knots of breeze on Saturday. After a Race 1 general recall, the race committee shortened the course numerous times until mid-Race 4, when they deleted the last upwind leg. The seas managed to hang around, making it imperative that “one hand for you, one for the boat” was the order of the day.

Opti start
The start of Race 2.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Finish off the beach
The finish of Race 2.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Race 3 start
The start of Race 3.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Optis start
The start of Race 4.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Opti race finish
The finish of Race 4.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky

Sunday the fog rolled in and the committee kept the kids inside until it cleared. The group set some temporary marks, found some wind, ran some practice races in the main channel, and took advantage of the conditions.

After the fog lifted the kids were treated to more wind outside than on Saturday. They reeled off three races in fine fashion with no reduction in course length.

Cooper Keeves, 13, repeated his command of these boats and rattled off six bullets. Cooper won overall honors and the Red Division.

Miles Gordon took second overall and first in Blue Division. Miles was followed (overall) by Gage Christopher, Leticia and Vivi Lagutenko, Helen Hooker-Poletti, Jacob Artof and Timothy Liu. These kids finished in the top 25% of the fleet, qualifying for the 2023 Optimist Team Trials to be held in St. Petersburg, Florida, in February.

Congratulations to all the kids who qualified — keep up the good work!

Complete results are at

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