The new McConaghy Optimist, the M1 splashed at Woollahra sailing club in Sydney over the weekend, with two of the M1’s competing in the East Coast Championships. Forty boats entered, and for some of the kids it was hard not to wander up to the new M1 Optimists and just stare. Any new boat in a class looks good, but there were plenty of comments from sailors and parents about the entire M1 package, ranging from "It’s incredible!" (From a young sailor), to " good solid tread on those launch-trolley tyres…" (From a Dad of course…) to probably the most common phrase of the day, "Cooool…" (From just about everyone.)
Both M1 Optimists landed in Sydney on Thursday from McConaghy boats in China, so this was the first opportunity to see how they handled in the shifty SSW 18- 20 knots winter breeze on day one. The young test pilots were Brodie Crossman and Jim Colley, a couple of great young sailors who had a blast and didn’t stop grinning – leading the fleet in one of the opening rounds, before match racing each other out of podium places in that race!
Klaus Lorenz (Qld) won the regatta, from Kyle O’Connell (Qld) and Brodie Crossman (NSW) in third. With Jim Colley securing fourth spot this was a good launch for the M1. There is massive enthusiasm in this class, and it was great to see all the kids sitting down for a chat on the grass before the official briefing, offering advice and tips for improving boat-speed, handling and mark rounding – closing with, "take plenty of food and water, enjoy the weekend, make new friends and have fun!"
Thanks to everyone who helped, the NSW IODA, Jim, Brodie and Brodie’s dad Warwick, all the parents and the great team at Woollahra sailing Club.