After several days of racing in blue, white, red, and green fleets, 90+ of this continent’s brightest young sailors have been divided into gold and silver fleets, and a Canadian National Champion will be crowned after Saturday.

The friendly folks at West Vancouver Yacht Club (WVYC) have been delighted and honored to be hosting the Canadian Optimist Dinghy National Championship this week.

The Championships runs August 21 to 26, 2023, and there were two days of training leading up to it. The event has comprised both the Championship fleet, as well as the Green fleet of 9 boats, which is made up of newer Opti sailors. Competitors have come mainly from Canada, with some from the US (including four from Puget Sound Sailing Team), and farther afield. Many local WVYC junior sailors will be competing; some of whom already represent Team Canada, some who are fighting for that honor, and some for big race experience.

Not only does this regatta serve as the Canadian National Championship, it is the only qualifier event for the Canadian sailors to the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) Worlds, IODA Europeans, IODA North Americans, and IODA South Americans.

Today, the “Championship” racing begins with the fleets divided into Gold and Silver fleets, though scores throughout the week will count toward the National Championship and qualifying berths. Heading into the weekend, the podium spots are held by Will Keilty in first place, representing Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS); Hayden Keilman in second, also representing RNSYS (and ABYC); and Kai Ramsey in third, representing Kelowna Yacht Club in BC and PCYC. Keilty, who also won the 2022 Canadian Opti Nationals, has been dominant with wins in four of six scored races — but in such a big, talented fleet, anything could happen.

Follow the results here, and learn more about West Vancouver Yacht Club and the Opti Canadian Nationals here.

Photos are of previous WVYC Opti events, and provided courtesy of WVYC.