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Optimist Winter Championships at Carsington Sailing Club

by Valeria Sesto 20 Nov 2018 09:03 PST 17-18 November 2018
Optimist Winter Championship at Carsington - a new venue for the class © Valeria Sesto

A new venue for the Optimist Class in Carsington Water, North of Derby, hosted the 2018 Winter Championships, last weekend 17th and 18th of November. Cold weather and shifty conditions put the 98 sailors to test with two intense days of racing. RLymYC's Ben Mueller was the overall winner in Main Fleet whilst Maya Brown (2nd overall) was the first girl. In Regatta Fleet Ocean Hughes took gold after winning six of the 12 races sailed; Dilara Soyer was second and first girl.

Broad smiles all round were seen during the weekend at Carsington Sailing club, which proved to be a great venue for an IOCA event. From arriving on Friday, till departing on Sunday, everybody involved in organising, helping and marshalling the regatta had been nothing but helpful and welcoming. The location was more convenient than expected and quite central to all. The surroundings of the lake were beautiful with several paths for exploring, cycling, walking or running. The area had near by pretty villages which meant that there was something to do for the whole family.

The event ran smoothly, in hands of the Race Management which was led by Race Officer Charli Hadden, in the main fleet, invited by IOCA. Eighty sailors lined up within this group to complete eleven races in total, five on Saturday and six on Sunday. There was one discard. In regatta Fleet there were 18 sailors who, led by Lymington's Richard Breese, completed six races each day and had three discards.

The conditions were testing, to say the least: it was the first weekend of the year when the cold properly hit us all. Although sunny, drysuits were seen for the first time, plenty of gloves, hot chocolates, soups and gloves. Wind was mainly from the East with a broad intensity, going from six to sixteen knots and very shifty. The races were short and sharp, between 20-25 minutes long with a shorter than usual start line. The key to do well was to have great starts and be consistent: two very difficult goals to achieve as the intensity of the start with such short line was high, to say the least, and the incredibly shifty patterns meant results were more varied than usual! The combination of this all challenged even the most experienced of the sailors, which made the event fun and valuable.

IOCA Sailing Secretary Joff MCGill, who was acting as safety officer in the regatta fleet, noted that 'we have sailed more races in this Regatta than in the entire Ranking events series!' and went on to thank the Carsington Sailing Club and its team for delivering a great weekend.

Sharon Davidson-Guild, IOCA's chairman, delivered the Awards to the top three girls and boys of both fleets as well as some special annual Prizes as follows:

Boys Main Fleet
1) Ben Mueller, RLymYC
2) Nick Evans, Blackwater/Datchet SC
3) Santiago Sesto-Cosby RLymYC

Girls Main Fleet
1) Maya Brown, Burghfield SC
2) Hazel MCDonnell, Hollowell
3) Ellen Morley, Hollowell

Boys Regatta Fleet
1) Ocean Hughes (Poole YC)
2) Edward Reid (Glossop SC)
3) Joseph Wimpory (BBSC)

Girls Regatta Fleet
1) Diara Soyer, Draycote SC
3) Nicola Richards, Castle Cove SC

The Green Sail (for Best Overseas Performance)
Joshua Means (Winner of Flanders, Niewpoort Week)

The Rex Jayne Award: (for Outstanding Performance/ contribution)
Jess Cowley (for all her hard work and dedication in the North East Region)

The Volvo Musto Trophy: (for most consistent performance across Selection, Inlands, Nationals and EoS, no discards)
Will Pank

This was the last regatta of the season. It feels like yesterday the report about the first one, the Spring Champs, was coming out. On to the Winter months now, for home training, Winter squads and some International events for the oppie fleet.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Full results can be found here.

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