by Amy Cada
Weymouth delivered sunshine and lighter winds for the 450 plus sailors competing at the Volvo Gill Optimist British and National Championships today.
Hiking out in a gust of wind
A flat sea state was consistent across all the courses with 6-8 knots of wind, which picked up slightly when the sea breeze came in the afternoon.
The ‘main fleet senior’ had three races in the outer harbor with predominantly clean starts. It was close racing for the majority of the fleet, though the leading boats were comfortably ahead of the pack.
Racing out in Weymouth Bay where it was a bit winder, the ‘main fleet junior’ had two really good races before all the support boats pulled together to tow all the sailors in, meaning they were back on shore by 15.15. Consistency at the top end of the fleet meant that the top sailors have begun to pull away, with the international sailors proving to be good competition for the British sailors.
Haydn Sewell, 12 (Royal London Yacht Club) had a first and second place finish in today’s races and is currently the second British boat overall in the ‘main fleet junior’. Hayden commented, 'Today’s racing was mostly port tack favoured and tactically, it was quite shifty, so you had to be in the right place at the right time to get the shift. There were three of us at the top in both races, me, an Indian boat and a Spanish one that were pretty that had a good lead on the rest of the fleet.'
The ‘regatta racing fleet’ had five races in total, two in the morning and three in the afternoon, with a short break for lunch shore side. The racing group demonstrated impressive starts and there were a few OCS, showing that the sailors were pushing hard. The young Optimist sailors have progressed hugely over the course of just one day.
The forecast for tomorrow is for stronger winds, but along with the wind comes a chance of rain in the morning.
For full results, click here