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Harken RYA NE Region Youth and Junior Traveller event at Ripon Sailing Club

by Fiona Spence 12 Jul 15:24 BST 6 July 2019
RYA NE Region Youth and Junior Traveller event at Ripon © Simon Moss

42 boats and 43 sailors enjoyed a glorious sunny day of sailing at Ripon Sailing Club for the final round of the Harken-sponsored RYA NE Region Youth Travellers Series on Saturday 6 July.

This series has visited 11 clubs over the last few months and sailors have enjoyed a range of wind and sailing conditions, from Hurricane Hannah at Beaver SC to a flat calm mirror at Yeadon SC, sea sailing at Sunderland YC to steady winds with the local Osprey pair hovering overhead at Kielder Water SC! This series is aimed at both experienced racers and encouraging novice racers and their families out onto the open meeting circuit and over 100 sailors have participated in the series in a range of boats from Optimists to a 29er.

Due to the large geographical area the series covers, the series awards trophies for the overall winner plus a trophy for the winner of events held in the south and north zones with the region split approximately on a line through North Yorkshire. There is also a Junior Trophy for the first U14 in each zone. The series has been generously supported by Harken and every competitor received a memento money box and boom stickers.

Competition in this series has been fierce at the top of the leader board; but equally importantly the hands of friendship, support and camaraderie extended across the fleet by all sailors and their shore support has been equally strong. Many sailors have enjoyed their first race or open meeting, first trip away to a different club and first load of their boat onto a trailer as part of this series this season and it has been great to see the regular and more experienced attendees welcoming them into the social side of sailing and including them in the on-shore banter and supporting them on the water with help and advice.

The series has also provided the less experienced sailors with on-water coaching to improve skills and help them compete, this is a new venture this season and has proved very successful.

The event at Ripon was the final round in the series and was also the club's Topper, RS Tera and Optimist open meeting and there was a good turnout in all these fleets. The day's forecast light winds materialised and Ripon's notorious shifts and wind bends proved challenging for all sailors.

Race officer James Ricketts set a simple course for race 1 and after a lot of jousting at the boat end of the line, which saw Matthew Rayner in his RS Tera Sport pushed over, the fleet headed off up the "channel" to the windward mark. Harry Nickells' Laser Radial benefited from the larger rig and led the fleet, chased hard by fellow clubman Henry Redmond in a Laser 4.7, Alex Horsman from West Riding SC in his Byte and Oliver Rayner from Yorkshire Dales SC in his RS Tera Pro.

However, the light shifting winds made for some interesting results with newcomer Rebecca Newcombe, in her second open meeting in an RS Tera Sport, properly upsetting the apple cart by taking the win on handicap! The competitive Optimist fleet had three boats in the first five with Ripon's Christopher Hampshire nipping into third place on handicap after Redmond's 4.7 in front of Adam Bell from DRSC and Liam Boyce from Filey SC.

Another competitive start line in race 2 saw another two boats over under code flag X; but a large wind shift five minutes into the beat allowed them to catch the fleet back up. The windward mark had been moved to directly in front of the club's new deck, causing many spectator heart rates to peak as the fleet converged, en masse at the mark!

A more natural order established itself in this race with the more experienced sailors at the front, both on the water and on handicap. The Optimists of Bell and Hampshire beat Redmond's 4.7 into third place with Esme Barraclough's RS Tera Pro in fourth. First Tera Sport was Tilda Brayshay in seventh. Lottie Abbott in her Laser Radial was competing in her first open meeting and put her local knowledge to good use in the shifting conditions to finish 15th, pipping fellow first open meeting competitor William Longstaff (Ripon SC) in a Quba to 16th place.

After lunch the race officer chose a more elaborate course, to try and counter any wind shifts and the fleet headed off. Lunch break paid off for Topper sailors Kyla Baxter (Covenham SC) and Olly Thompson (Ripon SC), both participating in their first open meeting as part of the coached fleet and they put in great performances to finish 12th and 13th respectively.

At the front, the light winds were proving good Optimist weather with the usual suspects of Hampshire, Bell, Boyce, Conrad Daniels (Kielder Water SC) and Fintan Starkie (DRSC) hunting in a pack with Redmond, Nickells and O Rayner stopping it being an Optimist 1-5. First Tera Sport was Matthew Rayner with Tera sailors Tilda Brayshay and William Bailey (YDSC) not far behind in 12th & 13th. A notable Tera mention in race 3 is another newcomer Matthew Knowles (Bolton SC) who was third Tera for the entire race but failed to cross the finish line correctly meaning he lost third Tera place to Bailey's experience.

Race 4 and it was all still to play for at the front with Hampshire, Bell and Redmond able to win the event pending last race results. Rayner finally got the better of the Optimists and upset the results by winning the race on handicap, with Boyce finally getting into the top three too. However, Hampshire beat Redmond and Bell to take the event and Optimist open win.

Matthew Rayner was again first Tera Sport but Dara Jenkins, from Bolton SC, finally delivered what he'd been threatening all day with a top ten result to take second Tera. Brayshay came in third Tera with Bailey and Knowles close behind. Topper sailors Ned and Jude Bowlas in their first ever race and open meeting sailed well all day and finished race 4 as third and fourth placed Toppers behind Thompson and Baxter.

The coached fleet had a lot of fun and learned a lot; special mention to Ripon's 7 year old Ella Kerslake, who learnt to sail in May and finished all four races in her Optimist; she didn't let competition stand in the way of a good chat over good food and was found by the coach in race 4 happily rafted up with fellow club member 8 year old Poppy Moss sharing her picnic! Coached fleet sailors Toby Waggett (Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club), Max Yeowart (TSWC) and Lola Saunders (DRSC) sailed their Optimists well in the challenging conditions to finish as the top three coached fleet in the overall results.

Two protests were heard after racing to resolve race 2 and 4 results. The event prize-giving and series prize-giving was then held, with club event prizes presented by Commodore Jamie Kerslake. The Series prizes were also awarded with RYA Regional High Performance Sailing Manager Chris Blackburn presenting the series winners with their trophies. First Overall in the Series and First Overall in the Southern Zone was Henry Redmond from Covenham SC in a Laser 4.7. First Overall in the Northern Zone was Adam Bell sailing an Optimist from DRSC. First Junior (U14) in the Southern Zone was RS Tera Sport sailor George Spence From Ripon SC. First Junior (U14) in the Northern Zone was Christopher Hampshire from Ripon SC in an Optimist.

Competitors then enjoyed a BBQ together with many camping over. The Series organisers would like to thank Harken for sponsoring the series and all the clubs and individuals who have contributed to this successful series. See you all in 2020!

Overall series results:

Overall Winner: Henry Redmond. Covenham SC. Laser 4.7
2nd Overall: Harry NIckells. Covenham SC. Laser Radial
3rd Overall: Adam Bell. DRSC. Optimist
4th Overall: Liam Boyce. Filey SC. Optimist
5th Overall: George Spence. Ripon SC. RS Tera Sport
North Zone Winner: Adam Bell. DRSC. Optimist
South Zone Winner: Henry Redmond. Covenham SC. Laser 4.7
North Zone U14 Junior Trophy: Christopher Hampshire. Ripon SC. Optimist
South Zone U14 Junior Trophy: George Spence. Ripon SC. RS Tera

Ripon SC Youth & Junior Open Meeting:

1 Christopher Hampshire. Optimist. Ripon SC
2 Henry Redmond. Laser 4.7. Covenham SC
3 Adam Bell. Optimist. DRSC
4 Liam Boyce. Optimist. Filey SC
5 Harry Nickells. Laser Radial. Covenham SC
6 Oliver Rayner. RS Tera Pro. YDSC
7 Conrad Daniels. Optimist. KWSC
8 Fintan Starkie. Optimist. DRSC
U10: Toby Waggart. Optimist. Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club
U11: Max Yeowart. Optimist. Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club

Ripon SC Optimist Open Meeting:

1 Christopher Hampshire. Ripon SC
2 Adam Bell. DRSC
3 Liam Boyce. Filey SC
4 Conrad Daniels. KWSC
5 Fintan Starkie. DRSC

Ripon SC Topper Open Meeting:

1 Olly Thompson. Ripon SC
2 Kyla Baxter Covenham SC
3 Ned Bowlas. Ripon SC
4 Jude Bowlas. Ripon SC.

Ripon SC RS Tera Sport Open Meeting:

1 Matthew Rayner. YDSC
2 Tilda Brayshay. YDSC
3 William Bailey. YDSC
4 Matthew Knowles. Bolton SC
5 Dara Jenkins. Bolton SC.

Ripon SC RS Tera Pro Open Meeting:

1 Oliver Rayner. YDSC

Ripon SC Youth & Junior Open Meeting Coached Fleet:

1 Toby Waggart. Optimist. Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club
2 Max Yeowart. Optimist. Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club
3 Lola Saunders. Optimist. DRSC
4 Dara Jenkins. RS Tera Sport. Bolton SC
5 Rebecca Newcombe. RS Tera Sport. Ripon SC

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