Windsurfers on the water

Sailors take to the waters at DC Park

cropped Sailing 03 | May 18, 2024
Day one of sailing saw men’s windsurfing and women’s sailing. Photos: Willie Fafale, Pacific Games News Service

Day one of sailing at the Sol2023 Pacific Games on Monday began with a promising morning of round robin races at DC Park, before a lack of wind in the afternoon proved insufficient for competition.

Six sailing teams took to the water on the opening day: Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Wallis and Futuna.

Among the events scheduled for day one were women’s leisure sailing and men’s windsurfing.

Addressing the event, Geofrey Baragamu, the technical head coach of the Solomon Islands sailing team said: “Today marks the first day of the sailing competition, featuring a series of round-robin formats.

“The teams are navigating the windward course, and this morning they faced wind conditions of approximately 18 knots. However, with light rain, the wind speed has decreased to 6 knots (this afternoon), falling below the sailing rules threshold, rendering sailing temporarily impractical.”

Nelle Lenders from the Fiji women’s sailing team said: “Today was our first day of racing. We got two amazing races in, and the wind was great for the Solomons. Unfortunately, in what was supposed to be our last race the wind died, but we had lots of fun, that was a great course and I’m really excited to do it again tomorrow.

“Thank you to the Solomons for hosting us. It has been amazing.”

Vitolio Iamafana from the Samoa men’s sailing team, who was a spectator at Monday’s women’s races ahead of his own next week, said: “I’m pretty excited for the girls who are competing this week. With the hours they’ve put into the work, I’m excited to see them put the practice into action.

“For myself, leading up to my events next week, I’m quite nervous but on top of that I’m also excited to experience the different sailors from Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti, I’m just overwhelmed with excitement.”

Women’s sailing has 11 competitors from six countries.

The action continues on Tuesday at DC Park from 10am. Entry is free.

By Willie Fafale and Tali Dever, Pacific Games News Service

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