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Blackwater Sailing Club cadet success at Optimist Winter Championship

by Christine Brown 24 Nov 2017 15:05 GMT 18-19 November 2017

Seven Blackwater Sailing Club cadets attended the Optimist Winter Championship held at Datchet Water Sailing Club in Berkshire over the weekend of 18th and 19th November.

Due to low water levels the race format was different from that usually used, with a square course and just one windward leg, for both the Main and the Regatta fleet. This enabled the Principal Race Officer to hold 10 races over the weekend on the Main fleet course while on the shorter Regatta Fleet course the race officer managed to get in 12 races.

The wind conditions were light on both days and this tended to favour the lighter sailors. In the main fleet Intermediate Squad sailor, Joey Taylor, and National Squad sailor, Nick Evans, both secured their first ever bullets at a main fleet championship. Both their finishing positions, 25 and 31 respectively, however were held back by a scoring system which, unusually, allowed for no discards. This meant sailors had to count 75 point penalties for being over the line with one minute or less to go. A system which favoured those sailors less prepared to take risks at the start.

Optimist National Squad sailor Matty Evans finished 60th, having to count two such penalties in her overall score. Zone Squad sailor nine year old Hugh Andrews competed for the first time in Main Fleet. He too suffered from the scoring system, finishing 114 overall in the 146 boat fleet. He did however count some strong results in the course of the Regatta, showing great potential for the future.

Over in the Regatta Fleet, and competing for the first time at a National event, great consistency ensured that eleven year old Jessica Haigh finished 13th overall and secured the prize for third girl. Also competing were cousins Florence (25th) and Osea Evans (37th) who both enjoyed the experience, especially in the sunshine on Sunday.

Full marks to all these youngsters for their commitment to competing in this event.

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