Volvo British Open and National Champs - Optimist sailors gear up

The fleet compting in Largs at the annual Volvo Gill Optimist British Open and National Championship
Rutland Sailing Club look forward to welcoming back the Volvo Gill Optimist End of Season Championship this weekend (12th-13th October) where over 220 of Britain’s talented young sailors will be battling it out to claim the End of Season Champion title.

This year the event will have a special visit from British Sailing Team’s top 49er sailor, Dylan Fletcher. Dylan, who campaigned for London 2012 but missed out on selection, now has his sights set on gold at Rio 2016 along with teammate, Alain Sign. He will spend the day on the water, offering the young sailors advice and tips to help improve their racing performance.

‘The Optimist is a fantastic little boat to start racing in, many of my competitors and fellow team mates started sailing in it and the class allows young sailors to develop the skills needed to successfully compete to a high level and for some will lead onto Olympic careers.

The class provides young sailors with the opportunity to learn and develop their sailing skills, helping them on their sailing journey.

I’m really looking forward to getting out on the water and watching the racing at Rutland’ commented Dylan, who recently returned from the 49er World Championship, France where the duo finished fourth.

The annual weekend competition, the second to last event in the highly charged 2013 UK Optimist racing calendar, notoriously attracts some of the top sailors in the class. However, with a number of the main fleet’s top competition, including 2013 Optimist GB Worlds team members, having moved on from the class or competing at another event the floor is left open to the classes’ fresh, up and coming talent.

There will also be sibling rivalry amongst the fleet with a number of brothers and sisters going head to head including Junior National Champion, Vita Heathcote, who will be looking for another top ten finish whilst racing against her brothers William, 11, and Henry, eight. The Regatta fleet will welcome 38 young sailors, including a number of local Rutland sailors, looking for their first taste of competitive racing.

2013 Optimist National Champion, Milo Gill Taylor, 13 (Spinnaker Sailing Club) and Hattie Rogers, 13 (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) will be absent from the event as they are busy representing GB at the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup, Bermuda. The duo were selected to join some of the world’s top Optimist sailors to compete in the annual ‘Championship of Champions event’, racing over three days.

The UK’s Optimist class, supported jointly by Volvo and Gill, is one of the most popular starter boats and provides young sailors with the opportunity to learn and develop their sailing skills, helping them on their sailing journey.