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IOCA UK Volvo Gill Optimist End of Season Championship at the WPNSA

by IOCA UK 10 Oct 2017 09:53 BST 7-8 October 2017

More than 200 sailors competed in the IOCA UK Volvo Gill Optimist End of Season Championship at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

It was the third and final event for the 2017/2018 winter squad ranking series, with keen competition on the water as sailors battled to improve their overall results in the quest for selection to one of the three national training squads for the class.

An event of two halves, day one started with howling wind and rain with gusts over 25 knots and launching delayed by two hours to allow the worst of the winds to subside.

During this time the sailors were lucky enough to be joined by British Sailing Team member Kirstie Urwin, who kindly kept them occupied by showing off her pristine Nacra 17, while parents had time to hide inside the new XC60 on display thanks to class sponsor Volvo Car UK.

Three breezy races on day one were then followed by a second day of racing which could not have been more different. This time there was a postponement while sailors waited for wind, followed by two races in light breeze and bright sunshine.

A total of 196 sailors competed in the main fleet with overall victory claimed by Callum Davidson-Guild (Trearddur Bay / Shotwick Lake), who won two out of the five races. A close second was Emily Mueller (RLymYC) with Toby Schonrock (Parkstone) third. First junior was German sailor Ole Schweckendiek in sixth overall and first junior girl was Tasmyn Green (Llyn Brenig).

Fifty-two sailors competed in the regatta fleet, enjoying some training and fun racing in the big breeze of day one and then successfully completing four races in the lovely conditions of day two. Overall winner was Oliver Means (HSC & NBYC), followed by Jacob Davidson-Guild (Trearddur Bay / Shotwick Lake) in second place and Oliver McCormick (Parkstone) in third. First girl overall was Abigail Boyle.

Competitors were joined at the prize giving by British Sailing Team 470 crew Anna Carpenter and Lijia Xu, 2012 Olympic Laser Radial gold medallist. Together they hosted an informative and inspiring Q&A session. Questions from the sailors ranged from the differences between the UK and China's Optimist programmes, to nutrition and dealing with capsizing!

IOCA UK chair Sharon Davidson-Guild commented: "It was brilliant to see nearly 250 sailors descend on WPNSA this weekend to round off the final ranking event of the year. The challenging sailing conditions certainly tested the sailors and made for some great racing on the water, whilst off the water the sailors were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to meet and talk to Kirstie, Anna and Lijia Xu. A massive congratulations to all the sailors for their efforts this weekend."

Overall Results: