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Junior Trophy & Fun Day at Ripon Sailing Club

by Fiona Spence 25 Sep 2019 10:44 BST 21 September 2019
Close racing at Ripon Sailing Club's Junior Trophy & Fun Day © Gail Jackson

A glorious September day with warm sunshine and a steady breeze greeted 42 Ripon SC Juniors for their annual Junior Trophy & Fun Day on Saturday 21 September.

Racing got under way promptly at 11am with 29 racers on the start line, comprising the main fleet and a regatta coached fleet. Normally the regatta fleet wear bibs to assist the on-water coach but this time the main fleet were wearing them as the club didn't have enough for the massive turnout from the less experienced Juniors who have been learning to race this season (what a great problem to have!).

We also welcomed friends from Covenham SC's Y&J fleet, Ripon's sailors have been competing with CSC sailors regularly on the popular and supportive RYA NE Youth Travellers Series that runs from April - July each year and it was great to welcome them to RSC again. The three races also counted towards the club's Kickstarter series which has been running since late April and has provided a supported pathway into club and regional racing for our youth & junior sailors.

The Kickstarter series has enjoyed a strong turnout with 47 Y&J participating and an average turnout each week of 15 sailors and it is great to see them all enjoying club racing and keen to learn more and get better. The club's coaching team has shared the delivery of this series and the variety of coaching styles and consistent support has yielded a great result for club racing, an adult series has run in parallel and has also enjoyed a good turnout each week.

A coach boat offered support on the water for those in the regatta/kickstarter fleet but left the main fleet "to get on with it" with feedback to these sailors available after racing. As expected, the main fleet sailing Toppers, Optimists, a Laser 4.7 and a Byte CII were a tightly fought and competitive group with the results of all three races being within 63 seconds on corrected time for the top 6 boats.

The strong and steady winds benefited Christopher Hampshire's Optimist but Tom Bates in a Laser 4.7 was within a second or two of him in every race. The Byte CII is still quite a large rig for Alex Horsman and the blustery conditions challenged him but he was in the mix every race and enjoyed close racing with Bates' 4.7. George Spence, sailing his new Topper showed that skills learnt in his RS Tera have transferred with him but his light-weight also handicapped him, like Horsman, in the slightly blustery conditions; Ollie Lumb showed regular practice in club racing does pay off and he and Spence had a great day of close racing. Covenham's Kyla Baxter quietly got on with it in her Topper each race and ensured she split the gents' results every time.

Further down the fleet the racing was equally exciting, Kickstarter series leader Ella Brophy gave Baxter, Spence & Lumb a fright in the first race when she was up with them in her Topper. The results might have been very different if she'd been able to stay for the afternoon racing rather than attend a family commitment! With Brophy out of the picture it was all to play for in the afternoon for the regatta fleet and the Toppers of Peter Harrison, Ollie Thompson, Theo McGonigle and Lewis Furnell gave the Newcombe girls in their RS Teras a good fight with Hannah Courts' Topper also in the picture.

Other notable performances in the regatta fleet was Oscar Manning sailing in his first full series along with fellow Optimist sailors Leah & Devon Byrne, Ella Kerslake and Poppy Moss, these Optimist sailors are all aged 7-10 years old and found the stronger winds a challenge but smiled all the way round each race in the sunshine. It was fantastic to hear the older sailors encouraging the younger sailors as they passed them.

Youth sailors Ollie Kent and Gus McKenzie, who are now too old for the Junior Trophy acted as Race Officer for the event and provided a masterclass in how to run a mixed handicap, average lap series with a diverse range of skills, boats and ages. It is great to see our Youth sailors involved with Junior sailing and prepared to give back to the club and their sport; the juniors also get a lot out of their interest and support and their presence helps show how they too can have a wide range of opportunity & experiences in the future if they continue with the sport.

In parallel to the racing, 13 of the less experienced juniors, many who learnt to sail this summer, and some of the club's pre-sailors (U7 yrs) enjoyed a fun day of water based activities in the fun-fleet, under the watchful eye of Izzy Wilson, another Youth sailor who is active in our Training & Coaching volunteer team, supported by other members of the T&C team.

Paddling races, duck hunting, a trip to the island under sail in the club optimists and a few joy-rides in double handers ensured these future junior racers felt part of the day and had an absolute blast. The fun-fleet also made use of the RYA's Marine CSI Environment kit, which is available for any club to borrow on request, and worked out "whodunnit" for the environmental crimes.

After racing was completed the racing fleet and fun-fleet joined forces for a bin-bag race home followed by the season prize giving and party. The club would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making the 2019 Y&J season so successful. Roll on 2020!

Ripon SC Junior "Towers" Trophy: (3 races, 2 to count)

1: Christopher Hampshire - Optimist
2: Tom Bates - Laser 4.7
3: George Spence - Topper
4: Ollie Lumb - Topper
5: Kyla Baxter - Topper
6: Alex Horsman - Byte CII
7: Peter Harrison - Topper
8: Theo McGonigle - Topper
9: Ned Bowlas - RS Feva (SH)
10: Lewis Furnell - Topper
11: Rebecca Newcombe - RS Tera Sport
12: Ollie Thompson - Topper

Kickstarter Series (35 races, 16 to count)

1: Ella Brophy - Topper
2: Theo McGonigle - Topper
3: Lottie Abbott - Laser Radial
4: Evie Brophy - RS Tera Sport
5: Lewis Furnell - Topper
6: Grace Stockdale - RS Tera Sport
7: Poppy Moss - Optimist
8: Ollie Thompson - Topper
9: Isaac Thompson - Topper
10: Oscar Manning - Optimist

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