2015 World Optimist Champs

2015-09-01 06:00
Closest to the camera, young Calum Gaughran trains   offshore of Durban two weeks ago before he heads across to Poland to compete in   the World Optimist Champs.
 Photo: Sophie Thompson

Closest to the camera, young Calum Gaughran trains offshore of Durban two weeks ago before he heads across to Poland to compete in the World Optimist Champs. Photo: Sophie Thompson

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TWO KwaZulu-Natal lads will soon be leaving our shores to compete in the 2015 World Optimist Champs held in Dziwnów, Poland.

Representing Point Yacht Club, Hillcrest’s Calum Gaughran and Durban North’s Liam Fennessy will join two other national competitors in representing South Africa at the upcoming World Champs. The KZN duo will travel together with Western Cape’s Alexander Brooks and Matt Inglis from Gauteng.

Gaughran began sailing at the tender age of eight, with his greatest achievement and one of his main highlights, travelling to Morocco to race at the Optimist African Champs in 2014. Coming from a highly competitive sailing family, the Gaughran boys have ventured extensively throughout South Africa to places not many people have heard of or get to visit, to compete in sailing events.

Calum (14) is the youngest of three boys, all of them are impressively notching up sailing accolades as they get older, the oldest Matthew (19) travelled to participate in the African Champs in Kenya in 2010, while middle child, Ross (16) competed in the same event down at Mykanos in the Western Cape.

“I totally enjoy sailing and being offshore especially. Being near the marine life, recently I had a close encounter with a shark gliding past my boat. It was scarily awesome seeing it so close to me, about an arm’s length away.” he states smiling.

Asked what sailing has taught him, the passionate lad says, “It has taught me to persevere. Also I have learned to have confidence when dealing with challenging tasks. I am really happy to be heading over to Europe to compete, this would have to be another highlight in my life and hopefully I can learn lots there.”

The budding sailor aspires to become a Volvo ocean sailor, the epic Round the World Race, and claims it is his favourite sport to watch on TV.

On the back of the highly successful KZN Youth Provincials held at the beginning of July, offshore of Durban, Calum Gaughran enjoyed the bigger winds and tallied up three wins over the two days or racing. The quieter Fennessy showed how talented he was in all weather and finished consistently towards the front of the fleet in both the lighter breeze and the more gusty conditions.

The 53rd edition of the World Optimist Champs hosted in the north-west of Poland, Dziwnów is situated on the Baltic Sea in a town renowned for sailing. Due to the huge international interest in this event, the racing has been moved to a recently built marina that can accommodate the expected 300 boats. Racing will take place on the Baltic Sea.

For more info visit www.pyc.co.za and www.optiworlds2015.com/ Facebook RSA 2015 Optimist team to Poland. - Supplied

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