The 4th Optimist Open meeting in the 2017 IOCA (UK) Southern Traveller Series took place at Royal Lymington Yacht Club on 3 & 4 June 2017.
Perfect Lymington sailing conditions greeted the 94 sailors across Main Fleet and Regatta Fleet on Saturday morning. Local sailor Santi Sesto-Cosby won race 1, benefiting from knowledge of the tides, closely followed by Lolo Davies in 2nd and another local sailor George May in 3rd place. The wind soon picked up with gusts up to 28 knots by the end of the day, favouring the top end of the fleet. James Foster, winner of the recent Hayling Island Optimist Open, won races 2 and 3.
The regatta fleet saw many of the younger sailors struggling to stay upright in the heavy wind with 9 year old Dylan Creighton commenting the conditions were “wild out there!”.
The fleets enjoyed great sailing conditions on Sunday and 4 races were completed in Main Fleet. James Foster gave a masterclass in heavy wind sailing, securing the title by winning 2 out of the 4 races. In 2nd place was Ben Mueller and in 3rd place, Toby Schonrock. Freddie Howarth, in 4th place, was 1st Junior.
James Foster commented on the weekend’s sailing “5 years ago at this event, I capsized on the way to the course and didn’t make the race course so feel for the younger sailors. But this weekend, the conditions were brilliant and led to tough racing. On the last race I knew I had to cover the 2 sailors behind me to win the event”.
6 races were completed in regatta fleet, with the title won by Fredrik Ugelstad who won 3 out of the 6 races, followed by Harvey Jenkins and Archie Munro-Price.
Many thanks to the organisers at Royal Lymington Yacht Club, Berthon, New Forest Ice Cream and Coffee Mongers for the great treats, as well as Rooster® for the Series prizes.
Report: Claire Mueller
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.
Pictures courtesy of Rosie Berry and Brian Staite
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 MF Series results here
Well done to all of them! We look forward to welcoming all the sailors back in 2017.
The HISC Open is Main Fleet only. There will not be a Regatta Fleet this year (this is a correction on what was previously advertised for the Traveller Series). The Notice of Series for the Traveller Series has been updated to reflect the change.
Entry to the Main Fleet will be restricted to sailors who have sailed in Main Fleet at an IOCA Major Event. Sailing will be in the bay.
You can find out more details here.
The Open is the third event of the Rooster® Southern Traveller Series.
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.
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.
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.