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IOCA Thames Valley Area Championship and Rooster Southern Traveller Series at Burghfield SC

by Tom Jones 11 Sep 15:21 BST 8 September 2018
Burghfield Optimist Summer Open © Alex Irwin / www.sportography.tv

135 Optimists were greeted at Burghfield Sailing Club with a warm welcome and hot food from the galley. The forecasted 10-12 knot westerly was ominously absent, however during the briefings and almost on cue the wind filled in with perfect timing to allow racing to start promptly at 10.30.

In the regatta fleet there were 45 entries and sailors with a wide range of experience, RO David Baddeley chose single lap races, aiming to keep the boats closer together and minimising the delay between starts.

The more experienced sailors quickly established a pattern and made the most of good, clean starts, jockeying for position at all marks. The final results demonstrated this by the top ten boats sharing the leading positions in all races. Felix Ives won the first race before local Burghfield sailor Archie Bourne found his stride to win the next three before a break for lunch.

A further four races during the afternoon were run with equally good conditions and the dominant sailors continued to perform well. Harry Franklin won race five, Ffion Cerrato took the bullet for race six before local sailor, Archie Bourne, took line honours in the last two races to make it five wins from eight races securing first overall. Harry Franklin was then second overall and Thomas Saunders third.

The less experienced sailors in the fleet demonstrated a fantastic attitude to the racing with nearly all the sailors finishing all the races. The entire regatta was sailed with energy and all sailors conducted themselves with great respect for their fellow competitors.

The main fleet had over 90 boats entered and was split in to four colour groups starting in two flights per race. Finian Morris and Samuel Griffiths started well to take the bullets from race one. The girls then dominated the second with Emily Schonrock and Ellie Creighton leading at the finish. The third race proved a bit tricky to get going, with the building breeze swinging in direction it took four attempts to get the first start away cleanly with many rumbling stomachs waiting for the second start. Sam Webb and local Burghfield sailor Maya Brown were the first to finish.

PRO Ian Bullock pleased the fleet by finishing near the club house to allow a quick pitstop for lunch. Flag D was soon raised again to allow launching from the large beach, there was then less than an hour from last finish in the morning to the first start in the afternoon. Solid breeze was now coming down the lake and it was the turn of Derin Can Soyer and late joiner Mathias Potter to take bullets. Race five became the last of the day being won by Emily Schonrock and Mathias Potter the only two sailors to win more than once.

Sam Webb was never out of the top five and claimed overall victory, likewise Oliver Vines claimed second while Emily Schonrock used her two wins to put her in a close third.

Young sailors and helping adults were all welcomed back at the club for drinks and cake before the many prizes including Rooster sponsored goodies were presented by Commodore Andrew Leigh.

Complete results can be found here.

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