Please select your home edition
Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

Gill Marine Optimist End of Seasons Championship at the Royal Southern Yacht Club

by Sandy Ramus & Andy Bryne 20 Oct 2022 02:11 PDT 15-16 October 2022

Royal Southern Yacht Club hosted the IOCA End of Seasons Championship with a fruity 25-35knts forecast for the whole weekend, at one stage leaving the organisers questioning whether they would even get a race in.

However, it settled enough for us to push forward and while the Regatta fleet was stood down on Saturday the Main fleet ventured out.

Main Fleet

The long sail to the start line set off Solent Breezes stretched the legs of the competitors and provided a solid warm up. The PRO Peter Saxton got straight into it but the flooding tide under the fleet meant a lot of boats were over; four starts later they were off but with 24 boats sat on the naughty step.

At the windward mark, it was the experienced Zac Shepherd of Bosham SC leading, a position he would hold until the last leg. Mid race a message went out over the VHF that Lymington was experiencing 33 knot gusts and it was heading our way. By the final downwind leg the storm was upon us and things got significantly more challenging. Just after the final top mark Zac shepherd, under pressure from Lila Edwards, made a mistake and took on water.

This gave Lila the chance she had been looking for and she took the lead and ultimately the bullet. Heavy weather pro, Tabitha Davies, was right behind with Dirk Rodgers finishing 3rd showing that he is not only quick in the light but more than capable in grown up conditions.

With a number of boats capsized and the conditions worsening the PRO flew AP over A and the fleet set off on the 2.5 mile sail home. The slay ride home meant that the kids all came in exhausted but beaming. I'm always so impressed with the optimist fleet to see just how good the kids are, with 10 year olds coping with 30knt gusts.

Day 2 promised to be a different story with 10-15knts forecast all day. The reality was a 2 hour wait as the PRO scoured the Solent for signs of action. At around 1 pm we started to see the weather beacons showing movement and we were soon lining up ready for race 2. Tide was going to be an issue in this one and it was quickly obvious that the left of the race track was going to be a place to be.

Rising star Leo Gosling had a belter of a start at the pin end and by the time he made his first tack, you could see he was going to be hard to catch.

At mark 1 it was Gosling with a 100m lead followed by Dylan Creighton. The tide meant that many underlaid resulting in total mayhem. This allowed rookie Finn Ramus to sail way past the lay line and round third.

Dirk Rogers made the only place change at the front piping Ramus on the last leg to take the third on the line.

With time ticking and the deadline for racing approaching the PRO. This time it was the Edwards girls that bagged the pin and drove it hard into the left hand corner. This saw them arrive at the mark with good leads that they held onto till the end. Walter Heeley, also in the mix, took the 3rd.

This again meant that Lila took 1st overall with her sister Eliana taking second. These two have been hard to beat in the last couple of years. Dirk Rogers put one of his best results of the session together taking the third.

Main fleet results here

Regatta Fleet

After a wise decision to keep the fleet ashore on Saturday, Race Officer Imogen Gibb led the 42-boat fleet out into Southampton Water in bright sunshine. The breeze increased throughout the day giving good racing conditions, with plenty for the sailors to think about as the tide flowed over the race course. For some in the fleet this was their first time racing on the sea and what a great way to start.

Well done to the race team for fitting in four, good-quality races.

In race one, Finn Byrne initially led the fleet across toward the right hand side of the track but Sean Di Salle and Charlie Holland had both tacked back toward the left and had good boat speed to lead around the windward mark. The general theme of the left being favoured (with less tide) would persist throughout the day.

In the second race, Chloe Davis powered from the middle of the line, again toward the left, to lead from start to finish with Charlie Holland sailing consistently to take second and Roisin Epstein pulling through in third.

In the third race, Ruby Coster won the committee boat end of the line and sailed well but it was Josie Clark, who worked the boat toward the left side of the racecourse, who took the lead around the windward mark. A close match saw the lead change a few times on the second beat but Josie pulled ahead to take the win. Sean Di Salle worked the left hand side of the second beat well to finish third.

The final race had a similar theme with the left side of the beat being favoured. Again, Josie led the fleet chased hard by Ruby. The second beat saw the wind speed up to full hiking conditions and Ruby sailed well to pop out in the lead to win the race and finish in first place overall. Hugo Thomas, age 8, sailed extremely well to take third in the windiest conditions of the day.

Overall - with a different race winner for each race it was consistency that was the order of the day!

Regatta fleet results here

IOCA would like to say a huge thank you to the Royal Southern for the last minute bailout, to the PROs (especially Imogen who drove from Durham), to Richie who lent his committee boat, the jury (Nick and Sian), the non parent mark layer Ian. General thanks go to a raft of helpers from the RSYC and of course, huge thanks as ever to our class sponsors Gill Marine.

Related Articles

34th Palamós Optimist Trophy overall
Iker Múgica (CN Cambrils) lifts the trophy Iker Múgica (CN Cambrils) is the new and proud overall winner of the 34th International Vila de Palamós Optimist Trophy-18 Nations Cup, among a total of 550 participants from 24 countries. Posted on 18 Feb
34th Palamós Optimist Trophy day 3
Domingo and Múgica leading the pack Two races have been enough to consolidate the Spaniards Joan Domingo and Iker Múgica, both from CN Cambrils, in the first and second positions respectively, heading into the final day of the 38th International Vila del Palamós Optimist Trophy Posted on 18 Feb
34th Palamós Optimist Trophy day 2
Discard kicks in, and initial leader plummets to 33rd overall The second day of the 34th International Vila de Palamós Optimist Trophy sees three Spaniards provisionally occupying podium positions as they head into the Final Series starting this Saturday. Posted on 17 Feb
34th Palamós Optimist Trophy day 1
Four Spanish sailors among the top five out of 550 participants The first day of the 34th International Vila del Palamós Optimist Trophy leaves Swedish sailor Oscar Wetter at the top of the leaderboard, remaining undefeated after winning the two races held in the blue group, edging out Catalan sailor Juan Lleonart. Posted on 16 Feb
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week overall
Misty morning gives way for a fantastic day of racing Whilst it was misty in the morning there was enough breeze to allow three races for the Optimist Main, Intermediate, 2.4mR, RS Feva and 29er fleets to be added to the scores on a fantastic fourth day of sailing. Posted on 4 Feb
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week day 3
Three classes opted for three different racing areas What a great day for racing! Day 3 began with over 20kts of wind at Repulse Bay, however the wind gradually softened with the sun coming out to welcome sailors as they arrived on the racetracks for an exciting racing day. Posted on 3 Feb
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week day 2
The AP flag was hoisted in the morning but sailors only had to wait ashore for half an hour Whilst beautiful blue sky could be seen above Middle Island, thick sea fog and very little wind delayed the start of Day 2 of the Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week. Posted on 2 Feb
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week day 1
It was a slow start at the Middle Island Water Sports Training Centre It was a slow start for Day 1 of the Sun Hung Kai & Co Hong Kong Race Week 2024, incorporating the 2024 29er Asian Championship. Posted on 1 Feb
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week kicks off
A cracking opening ceremony today The stage is officially set for the Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week 2024, incorporating the 2024 29er Asian Championship. Racing for the 8th edition of the event begins tomorrow with young sailors from Asia and beyond. Posted on 31 Jan
Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week Preview
270 sailors will take to the water to compete 270 sailors will take to the water to compete at Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week 2024, incorporating the 2024 29er Asian Championship this week in Hong Kong. Posted on 29 Jan
J Composites 2022 - J45 v4 FOOTERC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTER