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IOCA UK Optimist Nationals at Largs Sailing Club - Day 1

by Sandy Ramus 1 Aug 04:23 PDT 30 July - August 2022
IOCA UK Optimist Nationals at Largs Sailing Club - Day 1 © Paul Sanwell / OPP

After the rainy day yesterday, Scotland delivered some uncharacteristic sunny and warm weather today but sadly there was not a lots breeze. The main fleet after bobbing around for an hour or two were then sent ashore. However, it wasn't long until a line of breeze came in from the west and we were back in business.

Shifty conditions made setting a start line tough but soon enough both the Junior and Senior fleets were off.

Early in the beat right seemed favoured by most of the fleet however more pressure came in from the left with a left shift sending Jasper Anderson of France and William McEwen into the lead and those from the left hand side of the course came in with more pressure to lead ahead of the right-hand pack. The wind continued to oscillate favouring those with their heads out the boat. At the finish it was Anderson followed by McEwen.

The big shift meant that the Juniors start line and second windward mark had to be reset and there were some big changes up and down depending on what side you had chosen. Places were also gained by staying closely to the rum line on the run and playing the shifts well on the beat.

In the Regatta fleet due to the light dying breeze the first race of the day had to be abandoned. Luckily after persistent light winds and some big shifts, the wind picked up and the race officer managed to get a couple of good races in. Lots of happy faces coming off the water after a great day's sailing, with much praise for the amazing safety boat crews and committee boat!

The coached regatta fleet started the day spending time getting to know coaches, and making new friends. They then launched in what could have been the Mediterranean, with crystal clear water and a gentle breeze, it was perfect for those who'd not sea sailed before. The gentle breeze slowly vanished so sailing games were replaced with balancing games and swimming from the RIBs, just when we thought we'd call it a day the wind filled in and sailing resumed.

At the end of day one everyone sailed home looking much improved and with smiles and laughter all around.

Event website: optimist.org.uk/events/2022/nationals

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