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Team Racing Companion by Chris Atkins
Team Racing Companion by Chris Atkins

The Old Salt Loft Optimist IOCA East Championships at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Alex Davey 21 Jun 09:54 BST
The Old Salt Loft Optimist IOCA East Championships at Royal Harwich © Lynne Beale

This is how they put it:

12 year old Harry Courts, Royal Corinthian Otters:

"It was a light start to the weekend but the weather was on our side, the sun was shining and the temperature was warm. On Saturday some shifty winds made the races interesting. It was light winds in the first race but gradually building to about 15 knots by race three. On Sunday the breeze was much more steady with less shifts and around 20 gusting to 27 knots.

"Throughout the weekend the key to success was watching and playing the shifts. Just by hitting each shift you could gain 5 to 10 metres a time which put you at the front of the fleet. Also with the venue being tidal lay lines became tricky to judge especially with the shifts and tide, it led to some difficult windward mark roundings.

"I had a horrid first race where I had to retire but I just had to stay in the right frame of mind and get focused on the next races. With only one discard in the series I knew I couldn't afford another bad race so with perseverance and a lot of hard work I managed to pull off some great results to secure victory over the weekend. A big thanks to the race officers and the club for holding such a brilliant event."

RHYC Commodore Gordon Sutton (assisting PRO and international judge Graham Louth with Caroline Louth):

"What a superb day. I think the Oppie is such an underrated dinghy. We had 20 children out on the water who completed three races today. Every start line was busy, and there was only a few minutes between front and back at the finish. But the most amazing think was gusts of 27 knots, not one capsize and full compliment for every race. The Optimist I think is still the best boat for youngster to get racing in also thank you to the IOCA EAST Travellers series sponsor The Old Salt Loft."

We could not put it better. Six races over two days, sun, light winds building to strong over the weekend, very close racing, and Harry Courts sailing really well to put together an excellent overall series, with Alex Canham (Dabchicks) in second and Arthur Greaves (Papercourt) in third. Congratulations as well to Rosie Pank (Norfolk Broads YC) as First Girl.

The regatta fleet did one better, with seven races over the weekend. Again, the racing was close, with the sailors coping extremely well with challenging conditions. A couple of capsizes, but the first rule of capsizing was obeyed and all the sailors "smiled". All in all a great experience, and well done to first placed Ollie Joslin from RHYC.

An early start for the tide meant an early finish for onshore games on Saturday and an early prize giving on Sunday, generously supported by The Old Salt Loft.

Main Fleet Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stHarry Courts6489Corinthian Otters(RET)211127
2ndAlex Canham6340Dabchicks4‑9432417
3rdArthur Greaves6144Papercourt1‑7544620
4thAngus Beale6328Corinthian Otters5‑122115124
5thThomas Davey6163RHYC‑96763325
6thRobbie Hudson6331Spinnaker23‑18281328
7thGeorge Davies6290Norfolk Broads YC124125‑16740
8thCameron Bowden5754RHYC8138(RET)RET41
9thRosie Pank6100Norfolk Broads YC3515127‑1642
10thHarriet George6270Royal Burnham YC7109‑1713544
11thMadeleine Greaves5908Papercourt‑17148106846
12thMille Deacon5371RHYC6‑13111311950
13thRalph Surguy6294Corinthian Otters10813‑1891151
14thBryce Surguy6464Corinthian Otters13‑18109101052
15thOliver Means6229Norfolk Broads YC‑1611SCP7141256
16thOsea Evans6352Blackwater SC141714‑19121572
17thAmelia Kilgour6347Royal Burnham YC11151614‑171773
18thArthur Sturmer4790Royal Burnham YC15161716‑181478
19thNathan Flynn6439Corinthian Otters(DNC)DNCDNC15151890
20thJessica Lacey6525Burnham SC/Otters(DNC)DNCDNC201919100

Regatta Fleet Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1stOllie Joslin5507RHYC131‑42119
2ndDominic Bowden5837RHYC312142‑613
3rdChristopher Davies5279Norfolk Broads22321‑4313
4thGeorge Hutcheon6378Burnham SC44433‑5220
5thOliver Deer3636RHYC5‑65563428
6thDarcy Bowen3417RHYC‑656656533

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