Most families start winding down for the holiday season but for O'pen Bic families around the world this is just the beginning. 125 competitors from nine nations have already registered for the 2015 O'pen Bic World Championships set to begin this Sunday, 27 December, at the Safety Beach Sailing Club on the Mornington Peninsula.
The international O'pen Bic dinghy contingent has grown substantially over the last three years with well over 7000 boats now being sailed competitively worldwide. In Victoria, the O'pen Bic is part of Yachting Victoria’s Youth Program and internationally is accepted as a competitive Junior Class next to the Optimist Dinghy.
A large contingent of the 125 competitors are becoming well-versed in the Port Phillip bay waters with 29 O'pen Bics competing at the recent Sailing World Cup Melbourne and 44 boats competing in the Pre- Worlds regatta held over the weekend.
This event boasts having past and current world champions competing. Already registered for the event is 2013 Under 13 World Champion, Kristen Wadley (AUS), 2014 Under 13 World Champion, Jack Challans (AUS) and 2014 Under 19 Silver Medallist, Veronika Zirma (CZE).
Australian O'pen Bic President and event organiser, Simon Dubbin, is excited for the upcoming championship:
“The O'pen Bic Worlds has been years in the making; we put the bid in Travemunde last year and were very excited when we were selected. We are proud to be the first O'pen Bic World Championships to be held in the South Hemisphere.
“I’m happy to see the growth in Australian competitors over the past three years and look forward to seeing how these World Championships go.”
As an added bonus to the World Championships a fleet of 18 foot skiffs will be coming to the event on the 27th December. These skiffs will provide an opportunity for a few lucky young sailors to jump on- board with an experienced crew and discover what it’s like to sail one of these dinghies. This is a great way for the junior and youth classes to connect and engage with sailors in high performance boats.
The O'pen Bic Worlds runs from 27 December to 3 January 2016. Registration opens on Sunday 27th December from 1000 – 1800hrs with the first race starting on Tuesday 29th December at 1000hrs.