Please select your home edition
Gill 2017 728x90

Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Championship at Royal Lymington Yacht Club

by Valeria Sesto 13 Mar 08:00 GMT 10-11 March 2018

The UK International Optimist Class Association commenced the 2018 racing season on 10-11 March with the Spring Championships held, for the first time, at The Royal Lymington Yacht Club. There was a record numbers of 214 sailors, including 35 in the regatta fleet, 16 Irish and one French sailor.

The main fleet completed its six scheduled races, led by PRO Mike Johnson, with two discards. Britain's double Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers, born and bred in Lymington, ran the Regatta Fleet, which completed eight races in total.

The sailing conditions were very variable, with a wide range of wind directions and speeds, which made the racing interesting and challenging, described by many as "very tough". The flooding tide played a big part in the tactical decisions. Saturday saw strong winds with gusts up to 24 knots from the SSW whilst on Sunday the easterly was much lighter, yet shifty.

Overall winner Callum Davidson-Guild (Trearddur Bay & Shotwick Lake) commented: "It was very unstable and shifty, especially on Sunday. On Saturday it was really good wind, with strong gusts, although the start was very hard because of the tide."

Callum, aged 14, who won with 16 points, just one ahead of Irish sailor Luke Turvey (Howarth YC), added: "Lymington is not an unusual place for me. I came to a few opens and for open training weekends and I have always enjoyed it." Harry Twoney (RCYCS & CHSC) was third.

First girl was Florence Brellisford (Burnham), who had a fantastic regatta. She said: "I really liked sailing here and I am very happy to have won an event for the first time as well as winning a race for the first time!" Referring to race one on day two, she added: "It was quite light wind on Sunday and there was a big shift, which helped a lot!"

Second girl was Ella Lance (Hayling Island) with Emily Mueller (RLymYC) third.

Within the Juniors, Rocco Wright (HYC/NYC) was the winner, explaining: "Lymington is a little bit more tidal than home! It was good once you understood it and challenging to start with. I hope I come back for the Oppie Open!"

The number one Junior girl was Arwen Fflur (Pwllheli SC/WKSC), who was also taken aback by the tides: "The tide was pretty strong around the marks and it was quite hard to get round. It was easier Sunday than Saturday, when everyone got caught round the marks!"

Charlie Gatehouse (BBSC), was the first 11-year-old-and-under and Leo Yates (Papercourt), the 10 year-old-and-under winner.

The regatta fleet showed real grit and determination, clearly pictured by seven-year-old Lymington sailor Sienna Mordaunt: "It was very windy and a bit tough. I sail at this Yacht Club and I really liked it at the weekend because it was really fun having all the sailors from all the country coming to sail in our club." When asked how she got on in the windy conditions she was pleased to say that she finished all the races on Sunday after only two on Saturday: "I went to the mothership where they were all very nice and we were given some treats."

There were two motherships within the safety fleet: Bilbo, Captained by James McGill, was looking after the regatta fleet and the Commodore of the RLYC, Roger Garlick, together with his wife Jenny, was supporting the main fleet on his own motorboat.

The winners of regatta fleet were Joseph Jones (Burghfield) within the boys with Angus McEwen (Papercourt) and Cian Epstein (Llangorse) coming second and third. In the girls, Jess Haigh (Blackwater) was the winner, followed by Bea Sparks (Llangorse) and Madeline Greaves (Papercourt).

Chairman of IOCA UK, Sharon Davidson-Guild, said: "We had a fantastic Spring Championships in Lymington with over 210 sailors taking part in both the main and regatta fleet. On behalf of the Class, the sailors and their families I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Lymington Town Sailing Club for their hospitality and hard work this weekend. Getting 210 sailors launched in 35 minutes was a mammoth job but with everyone working together we did it! Well done to all the competitors for their sailing achievements; it was tough!"

Although the venue was the RLYC, Lymington Town Sailing Club teamed up to support the venture, providing changing facilities and hosting the IOCA party on Saturday night.

Vicky Leen, Sailing Manager at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, said: "The Club was delighted to host the 2018 Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Championships this year, it was great to see so many competitors from all over the country, some from even as far as Ireland and France. It was lovely to have so many Club members, Parents and Visitors working together to make the weekend such a great event for the children."

The club hopes to see many of the competitors again at its own Lymington Optimist Open on June 2-3. The next IOCA event will be the Selection Trials in Weymouth, in May.

For more information visit or the class Facebook page.

Overall Results:

1st Overall - Callum Davidson-Guild (Trearddur Bay SC & Shotwick Lake SC)
1st Girl - Florence Brellisford (Corinthian Otters)
1st Junior Boy - Rocco Wright (HYC/NYC)
1st Junior Girl - Arwen Fflur (Pwllheli SC/ WKSC)
1st 11 year and under - Charlie Gatehouse (BBSC)
1st 10 year and under - Leo Yates (Papercourt SC)
2nd Girl - Ella Lance (Hayling Island)
3rd Girl - Emily Mueller (RLymYC)
2nd Boy - Luke Turvey (Howarth YC)
3rd Boy - Harry Twoney (RCYCS & CHSC)
4th Boy - Jonny Flynn (HYC/ RSTGYC)
5th Boy - William Pank (Norfolk Broads SC)

Regatta Fleet Results:

1st Overall and 1st Boy - Joseph Jones (Burghfield SC)
2nd Boy - Angus McEwen (Papercourt SC)
3rd Boy - Cian Epstein (Llangorse SC)
1st Girl - Jess Haigh (Blackwater)
2nd Girl - Bea Sparks (Llangorse SC)
3rd Girl - Madeline Greaves (Papercourt SC)

Related Articles

Foley wins 26th International Optimist Regatta
Speed and tactics prove to be the winning combination Speed and tactics proved the winning combination that led 13-year-old Peter Foley to place first overall at the 26th International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS) Virgin Islands Posted on 18 Jun
USODA Worlds Team wins Optimist Team Race Regatta
At the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta Coached by Pilo Rocha, the 2018 USODA Worlds Team of Stephan Baker, Peter Foley, Ryan Satterberg, Thommie Grit, and Tommy Sitzmann just topped 12 other teams and won the Team Race portion of the International Optimist Regatta, held in St. Thomas, USVI. Posted on 17 Jun
Countdown to 2018 Optimist Nationals
The countdown to the 2018 Optimist Nationals at Pensacola Yacht Club continues. The countdown to the 2018 Optimist Nationals at Pensacola Yacht Club continues. Check-in and measurement— July 13 & 14— for the July 15 start of racing is one month from today. Posted on 15 Jun
Optimist sailors at the Volvo Ocean Race!
A day to remember for the young sailors in Cardiff Optimist sailors experienced a day to remember courtesy of Volvo Car UK and the Volvo Ocean Race Academy in Cardiff at the weekend. Posted on 15 Jun
Parkstone Optimist Open
108 sailors across three fleets in Poole Harbour Parkstone Yacht Club welcomed over one hundred young sailors to Poole Harbour over the weekend of 9-10 June to participate in their Optimist open meeting which forms part of the IOCA Southern Traveller Series. Posted on 15 Jun
26th International Optimist Regatta at St. Thomas
103 junior sailors from five nations ready to sail Experience, communication and speed were the skills junior sailors on Team USA Worlds used to win the TOTE Maritime Team Racing Championships. The Championships are one of a trio of events sailed this week out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club Posted on 15 Jun
Opti State champions crowned in Goolwa
Austin Higgins holds off close competition from Tana Deyell Austin Higgins from Brighton and Seacliff was the overall winner of the Open Fleet and through consistent sailing he was able to hold off some close competition in Tana Deyell from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne. Posted on 12 Jun
26th International Optimist Regatta preview
110 young sailors set for St. Thomas Yacht Club A near-record 110 eight to 15-year-old sailors from five countries will race eight-foot long single-sail Optimist dinghies in the TOTE Maritime Clinic, TOTE Maritime Team Race, and International Optimist Regatta (IOR) Posted on 12 Jun
SA Optimist States and Frostbite Regatta day 1
It was a beautiful morning to kick off the first day The Open, Intermediate and Green fleets completed three races in challenging winds during the morning session, before breaking for lunch, while the afternoon session was cut short due to poor and fickle conditions. Posted on 9 Jun
YOO Youth Regatta at Bowmoor
Including the Optimist Regatta at the club Bowmoor SC "Oppie Camp" again saw children having a great time and some great coaching, and was followed on the Saturday by the club's Optimist Open and YOO Youth Regatta. Posted on 8 Jun