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Friday 6 January 2012 | Published in Regional


Cook Islands sailors are holding their own at the Optimist World Championships in Napier, New Zealand, where 214 sailors from 33 different countries have gathered for the event.

Singapore crews have taken out the teams racing event with our local team making it to the second flight of the event before being eliminated.

The local crew are newcomers to international racing with Eseta Ailaouamaua and Duane George the only two with prior international experience.

Team leader Lindan Pene said that they werent expecting the local crew to win but that the event was all part of building their sailing skills and confidence.

Races in Napier have been held in 8 to 10 knot sea breezes and 15 to 18 knot winds in some cases making for rough sailing.

The regatta is over nine days and is for budding sailors aged between 11 and 15.

The Cook Islands optimist sailing crew comprises Eseta Ailaouamaua (Rarotonga Sailing Club), Duane George, Eric George, Dean Tetuaeteroi, Titi Kaukura and Jamie Pene (all from the Aitutaki Sailing Club).