Monthly Archives: May 2017

Hayling Island Sailing Club Optimist Open Report

Meeting 20th and 21st May. Report by Brian Staite

This was the 3rd Optimist Open meeting in the 2017 IOCA (UK) Southern Traveller Series sponsored by Rooster®.

With the tide ebbing directly out of Chichester Harbour straight into the Southerly wind, the 55 Optimist sailors could see the choppy water on the race course from the beach where they were assembled. Soon they were to determine that what they could see wasn’t the half of it and once on the race course it was clear that Hayling Bay was going to provide a real challenge for the scheduled 3 races on day 1.

PRO Tim Dickinson soon had racing underway and the top end of the fleet, many of whom recently qualified for World and European Championship Teams, revelled in the conditions. The younger sailors found the steep waves tricky to manage and the rescue fleet had numerous early customers. Race 1 went to local sailor Finley Dickinson.

Race 2 started soon after and with less water depth and slightly more breeze, the waves had increased. If the upwind legs were tricky, it was the downwind legs that were the real test with fantastic surfing conditions for those with the right technique, but serious wipe-out opportunity for others. James Foster mastered the conditions and won race 2. He also finished off the day with another win in race 3 which was the windiest of the day. With the tide at its lowest level the waves were now so steep that some were turning into proper white water – often when a sailor was already at max speed on the face of it. Many of the top sailors found themselves wiping out and once ashore there were plenty of excited stories being told by sailors and Rescue crews alike.

Sunday dawned brighter and calmer much to the relief of many. The first race of the day was led from start to finish by Toby Schonrock, back on the water after snapping his sprit on day 1. The clouds over the South Downs were building nicely and the breeze was obediently increasing. It had all the signs of a fantastic day of sailing and Race 2 was mastered by Junior sailor Henry Heathcote.

For the 3rd and final race of the day perfection had set in across the racecourse. 12 knots of breeze and bright sunshine made for classic ‘Champagne sailing at Hayling’ conditions – does sailing get any better than this? It was recently crowned Inland Champion, William Pank that took this race but it was the positions just behind him that would be the deciding factor for overall victory.

In the end, equal points score for 1st and 2nd place had to be decided on countback and so it was James Foster that took the overall title. Many thanks to the organisers at HISC for such a great sailing event and also thanks go to Rooster® for the excellent prizes.

Event Results

Series Results

Pictures courtesy of Rosie Berry and Brian Staite

RVYC Open Report

As sailors arrived at RVYC for the annual Rooster Optimist Southern Traveller Series event, the first question on everyone’s lips was “is there going to be any sailing as there is no wind?” With Ian Bullock, a well known National Race Officer at the helm, we were confident that he would do all in his power to get the kids sailing.

With a few zephyrs of wind appearing on the water, the signal was given to launch and an intrepid 32 sailors headed into the Solent. With the prospect of only very light airs and Sunday looking like no wind, the goal was to secure as many races as possible could happen on the Saturday. During the day the wind only topped 8kts but much of the time it was in the region of 4-6 knots which against the tide was a huge challenge for the sailors.

The main fleet had a number of zone squad sailors fighting it out with Matthias Potter and Cameron Hook both securing firsts in all the races between them. Arthur Farley was keen to get a strong finish in what was going to be one of his last events in an Optimist before moving to a larger laser. Matthias from Warsash sailing club sneaked the overall win from Cameron of Gurnard Sailing club and Arthur from RVYC secured third. Annabel Vines was top girl in 4th place with a best finish of a second.

In the regatta fleet which is the launch pad to Optimist sailors going on to compete in the more challenging main fleet, competition was very tight between Findlay Bignold-Kyles and Sabine Potter. With 17 of the 23 entries in regatta fleet coming from off the island, it meant it was tough going for an RVYC sailor to push up the rankings with so much strong competition. However, Finn Evans was keen to put in a very solid performance to secure a strong 3rd place overall for his home club. Regatta fleet also welcomed a number of younger sailors with the lowest being a mighty six years old.

View Event results here

View MF Series results here

View RF Series results here

Well done to all of them! We look forward to welcoming all the sailors back in 2017.