Final session at Spinnaker winter training

After two years , this weekend was Ian Cole’s last session running the IOCA South , Pre Zone Winter Training At Spinnaker Sailing Club near Ringwood for 50 plus young sailors from 7- 11 years.

Ian wanted to really up the standard of everything this year and then finish at the end with something special for the kids to remember – to go out on a high, on his last season in optimists as his kids transition upwards into lasers.

He felt it was just a nice way to say thankyou to Gillian Schonrock (a sailing super hero), to IOCA UK and the optimist fleet for all of the help and support he had received over the years.

Getting the prizes sponsored by Rooster® was a big result and he had loads of really great prizes , enough to cover all 7 flights in our training fleet and then getting Olympic sailor, Saskia Clark MBE on board who not only brought her medals for the kids to actually wear but also brought a bag full of genuine British Sailing Rio Olympic gear to give away to the kids in a raffle was really, really special.

Saskia had a great time laughing with the kids and is a true sailing rock star. She stayed right to the end of the afternoon for photographs and selfies and autographed almost every child’s IOCA medal for them.  We’ve never seen so many happy kids.

Burghfield SC Winter Open is a windy success

On Thursday storm Doris brought destruction, travel chaos and stress for open meeting organisers across the country. Saturday brought 125 sailors to Burghfield, where, thankfully, the conditions were the best that most of the kids who’ve been sailing throughout the winter had experienced for months.

PRO Ian Bullock running the main fleet demonstrated his knowledge of both Burghfield and the Optimist class, managing to fit Inner/Outer loop trapezoid courses around the islands in the difficult conditions. Squalls, lulls and the usual Burghfield shifts combined to provide challenging conditions for the sailors. Unsurprisingly, the most experienced dominated with some very consistent sailing. James Foster and Barty Gray allocated to the same flight battled each other around time and time again, with one of them winning every race in which their flight competed. In a dominating performance, the pair frequently had a commanding lead ahead of the rest of the fleet. James, winning the 6th and final race, won the event by a point.

There were a number of other notable performances – Megan Farrer and James Barrett, both zone squad members, sailed superb series to upset the established order. Megan won a race in some of the toughest conditions of the day, a very impressive feat from a young sailor. The final race was won by Finian Morris, another young competitor. He sailed a very mature and tactical race to hold off some of the established top sailors. Perhaps he really was concentrating when he crewed his uncle Barney to second at the Bloody Mary this year.

The Regatta fleet bravely weathered the blustery conditions to complete six races over a trapezoid course under the careful race management of Burghfield’s Douglas Calder. Cameron and Findlay Bignold-Kyles from Royal Lymington battled with Gwen Sargent from Emsworth who finally took to the series from Cameron, with Findlay in third and Sabine Potter from Warsash a close fourth.

The high number of Regatta fleet entries allowed the event organisers to create a third Coached Regatta Fleet for less experienced racers. This fleet under the experienced helm of David Baddeley was supported by junior members in a more sheltered corner of the lake allowing a successful series of seven short races to take place. Close racing ensued supported by visiting coaches where the series stayed open with seven sailors scoring top three results. Eddie Dorsett from Parkstone emerged the winner from fellow club member Max Bromilow with Henry Camm from Warsash in third.

Many thanks to Rooster® for sponsoring the Optimist Southern Traveller Series, and providing some great prizes for the event.

View Yachts and Yachting article here.

Main Fleet Results
Regatta Fleet Results
Coached Regatta Fleet Results

IOCA South Head Coach role

IOCA South runs one of the largest junior winter coaching programs in the UK. We plan to expand our current training to 2 locations in 2017/18, providing training for 70-80 optimist sailors over 6 days between October and March.
We are looking for an experienced Head Coach, to design and lead a programme, which provides good quality coaching for the sailors, as well as a structured training programme for the coaches.  The role includes 3 days for designing and preparing the programme, and 8 days of coaching.

Click here for further details.

IOCA South winter training expands to Bosham

IOCA South winter training has expanded to a second location – at Bosham Sailing Club.

The course takes place over five full days over the winter period from November through to March.  The aim is develop and improve the sailors boat skills, experience and confidence such that they can rapidly progress through the IOCA Regatta, Transition and Main fleets the following Spring.

Click here for more details.

A fine ending to the 2016 Rooster Southern Traveller Series

20160917_145252_800wide70 sailors met up at Spinnaker Sailing Club for the final event in the 2016 Rooster® Southern Traveller Series.  With over 50 sailors entered, this was the largest entry Spinnaker had ever had for a Regatta Fleet.

A mid-strength breeze enabled the Club to put on 4 good races for each fleet, with a break for lunch.  Congratulations to Ella Lightbody, who won Regatta Fleet, and Kieran Young, who won Main Fleet.

Following the Open prize-giving, the 2016 Rooster® Southern Traveller Series winners were announced.  A big congratulations to Ella Lightbody for winning the Regatta Fleet series, with Samuel Griffiths in second, and Gabriella Burlton in third.  Well done also to Oliver Evans, the winner of the Main Fleet series, with James Foster in second and Kieran Young in third.


Many thanks to Rooster® for some super prizes, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

John Merricks Sailing Trust grant

The John Merricks Sailing Trust seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and was set up in the memory of leading Olympic sailor and 1996 Olympic silver medallist John Merricks.
The Trust is offering to donate an Optimist to a South Zone sailor, giving them two years of exclusive use of the boat, after which the boat will be returned to the sailor’s original club.
Applications must be made by 5pm Thursday 22nd September.

Click here for further details.

Harbour Chandlers Optimist Open

Hayling Island Sailing Club 11/12th June 2016


85 optimist helms came from far and wide to make up a highly competitive fleet for the 2016 Harbour Chandlers Optimist Open, there was even an Australian visitor on his Europe wide tour of the major events. The hosts HISC put out 22 boats, from National Squad sailors to those trying the big courses of the Main Fleet for the first time.

IMG_2454_250wideIn previous years the Open has been held in the harbour but in what was also a test event for the forthcoming Late Summer Ranking event the sailors left the beach at the Lifeboat Station and headed out into Hayling Bay. They were welcomed by calm seas and light winds, refreshing after the humidity of the dinghy park.

Our Race Officer for the weekend was Tim Hancock, who set a course just off the Hayling Beach. The fleet got away first time in 8 knots of breeze and with a gently flooding tide over the shallower waters. It was slow progress upwind but Aussie Blake Wilson established a comfortable lead and took the first bullet of the day.
There was much jostling for position at the committee boat end for the start of Race 2 and after a general recall and 4 black flagged boats the race was underway. The sailors who opted for the right hand side came out smiling and finished with much cheering as the first 7 sailors crossed the line…all members of Royal Lymington.
By the time Race 3 was in sequence the wind had lightened to 6 knots, but Archie Leckie had the measure of it and took the win.
The ever decreasing wind called an end to the days racing and it was Henry Heathcote from Royal Lymington YC who was the overall leader with 10 points clear having put in consistent top ten results during the day.

Once back ashore sailors tucked into a BBQ before heading to the beach for football and general larking around whilst parents enjoyed a sundowner on the club terrace.

Sunday arrived gloomy and wet but with the promise of a fresher breeze there was no dampening of enthusiasm amongst the sailors as boats hit the water for the sail to the bay.
As thFullSizeRender_250widee fleet got underway for Race 4, with the stronger winds giving some closer racing, it was local sailor Kuba Staite who took line honours in style with Callum Davidson-Guild from Trearddur Bay leading from the first windward mark to claim Race 5.
Finally the sun made an appearance and Hayling Bay was at its finest, 15 knots of breeze, sparkling waves, it couldn’t get much better.
Archie Leckie enjoyed his second win of the event in Race 6 which took him into the overall lead.
The final race saw sailors crowding the back of the committee boat once again, and after a few general recalls the fleet was away. A new face at the front of the fleet in Alfie Dowson-Mcgill, from Royal Lyminton, leading them home with a tightly packed bunch giving chase just behind.

Well done to all the sailors. Overall winner was Archie Leckie (LLSC), 2nd Callum Davidson-Guild (Trearddur Bay), 3rd Kai Wolgram (Llyn Brenig), 4th Blake Wilson (RQYS/SYC), 5th Henry Heathcote (RLymYC)
First girl and 6th overall was India Page-Wood from HISC.
Oscar Morgan-Harris, Royal Southern Yacht Club was awarded the 10 and under prize.
Thank you to Harbour Chandlers for some superb prizes, and thank you also to all those who helped make the weekend such a success.

We look forward to welcoming sailors for the Regatta Open on 29th July and all sailors and many more back in early September for the Late Summer Ranking event.

View article in Yachts and Yachting.