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Optimist Easter Egg at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Bill Caldwell 10 Apr 2018 10:24 BST 30-31 March 2018
Optimist Grafham Easter Egg © Bill Caldwell

Good Friday saw the fourth running of the Optimist Easter Egg hosted by Grafham Water Sailing Club. A relaxed start time of midday saw all sailors duly briefed and on the water with a nice 10-12 knots of breeze from the East.

The PRO got the first race off promptly and more importantly first time, with the more experienced sailors pushing the line fairly hard in true Optimist style! Theo Deverell got a superb start in clear air and promptly led the fleet from start to finish with good boatspeed and tactics followed by Theo Clifton and Oscar Cawthorne.

The second race was a close-fought affair with most sailors getting a good start. The fairly stable wind enabled Ellen Morley to fight off Theo Deverell on the final downwind leg to take the victory with Oscar Cawthorne again in third.

The third race proved that Oppie sailors are always trying hard and with the Black Flag in place, the PRO was unable to determine who was over the line meaning the first General Recall of the day! The restart was slightly more circumspect as discards had yet to come into force, and so it was a real drag race to the first mark. This time it was Maya Brown who showed the fleet a clean pair of heels to take the win from Theo Deverell and Daisy Weston.

A great day's racing for all saw three different winners and great camaraderie as the sailors rafted up between races to enjoy a chat, snack and a laugh.

In the regatta fleet Ralph Surguy showed his class by recording three straight wins to put himself in an unassailable position overnight.

Saturday dawned fairly miserably with rain and very little wind. By mid morning it was clear that mud sliding was more inviting than sailing so the organisers decided that chocolate was the order of the day! Many helpers make light work, and in short order the Easter Egg hunt was under way.

The PRO decided it would be possible to sail a couple of fun races just off the club house. Whilst the start was almost fair - pumping, tiller waggling and various other shenanigans propelled the combined fleet around a very fluid course! Fun, laughter and good-natured cheating were the order of the day with the lead changing so many times it was difficult to tell who was doing what.

Once ashore it was a case of packing in the rain, but as with the whole weekend, it was fun and stress-free.

At the prize giving there were cheers for all, the trophies and eggs going to Theo Deverell in first, Oscar Cawthorne in second and Jemima Cook in third and First Girl. Daisy Weston fell foul of the rule excluding sailors who had been invited to Braassemermeer from winning prizes.

Ralph Surguy picked up the Regatta fleet trophy. The Endeavour Prize was won by Milo Clabburn for showing great progression in his results over the three races.

This is a great Optimist national event - good clean racing, super venue and a wonderful atmosphere - well done to all.

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