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Optimist Joint Squads Weekend at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy

by Alan Williams 20 Mar 2013 14:19 GMT 16-17 March 2013
Ali Grant battling the conditions at the Optimist Joint Squads weekend in Weymouth © Alan Williams

Wild and challenging conditions

Over the weekend of 16-17 March the combined Optimist national squads met up at WPNSA for the annual joint squads weekend, probably the toughest racing these sailors have apart from the sections trials for international events in May.

More than 60 of our top Optimist sailors braved the strong winds and unseasonably cold conditions, which saw massive squally clouds pumping out a gusty southerly 20-30kts on Saturday and a very cold snowy northerly on Sunday.

The squads were split into to two groups for starting, lane holding, and windward leeward racing on Saturday morning and raced a 5 race series for the joint squads cups on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The racing was very tough on Saturday afternoon - just as tough as the weather with massive black cumulus clouds unleashing their terror on the fleet.

Dan Atherton made the best of Saturday with two 4ths and Huw Edwards with 6th and 3rd. Others fell foul of the permanent black flag in all the races, including Alex Plat and Jenny Cropley.

Sunday dawned with a northerly and 15kts which gradually ran out of steam but not before the whole fleet was cooled down in freezing sleety drizzle. Milo Gill -Taylor was very consistent with a 1,1,2. Max Moyles 3,5,3 and Max Clapp 11,5,1. There was a lot going on a the pin on each race and some sailors paid the price for poor starts- the slightly safer options tending to win out.

Thanks to the race team for braving the conditions led by Jay Williamson and Mike Haynes, and Sian for the results.

Overall Milo was 1st, Max Moyles 2nd and Max Clapp 3rd. Gethin Llewellyn Owen was 6th and won the Intermediate Squad cup and David Raimbault won the Development Squad cup.

Thanks to all the parents and the Class for supporting the winter training, we now look forwards to the Easter international regattas at Brassermermeer and Garda.

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