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North East & Yorkshire Youth Travellers (NEYYTS) at Ripon Sailing Club

by Fiona Spence 26 May 16:33 BST 22 May 2021
Pre-start at the North East & Yorkshire Youth Travellers (NEYYTS) at Ripon © Fiona Spence

Ripon SC's youth and junior open meeting on Saturday 22 May attracted 24 entrants and was part of the North East & Yorkshire Youth Travellers Series. The wind did not behave to forecast and instead of the 15mph steady north westerly we were treated to lighter, fickle shifting conditions which tested all the competitors.

Race 1 got under way in a reasonably steady breeze and race officer James Ricketts set a simple course. Regatta division sailor Olly Thompson looked like he might cause an upset by sailing well in his Topper in the shifting winds, but experience at the front of the main fleet eventually came through with Tom Bates (Laser Radial), Alex Horsman (Byte CII) and George Spence (Topper) taking 1,2,3 on handicap. Regular visitors Henry Redmond (Laser 4.7) and Liam Boyce (Laser 4.7) who normally quickly get to grips with Ripon's nuances provided their discards in this race whilst Archie Burton (Laser 4.7) came home in fourth. Topper sailors Kyla Baxter and Ella Brophy had a good race together with Brophy just getting the better of Baxter to finish fifth with Thompson home in seventh.

Further down the fleet the regatta division took full advantage of the two race coaches on the course to make the best of the conditions, some of the sailors were competing in only their first or second competitive event.

Race 2 was sailed in lighter winds and it was very much about putting the boat in the right place to make use of the shifts and wind patches. Bates, Horsman and Spence again showed local knowledge was king and repeated their 1,2,3. However, Baxter sailed a well put together race to finish fourth and the three Laser 4.7s had a good three-way match race with Redmond beating Burton and Boyce.

Zach Williamson in his RS Tera Sport sailed well to finish first in the regatta division with Finlay Cochrane finishing just 3 seconds behind him in his Topper on corrected time. It's great to see the regatta division sailors at each event, and Cochrane - who only learned to sail last September - is showing that time on the water is the key to all things sailing with his noticeable weekly improvements in the series results.

The club was pleased to welcome British Sailing Team member Hector Simpson to the event, and Hector spent most of the day out on the water. During the lunch break Hector provided feedback and mentoring to the main fleet sailors and after discussion it was agreed between the main fleet sailors that they would accept his offer of on-water feedback in the afternoon races to make the most of the opportunity.

It is fantastic to see high level sailors taking the time to mentor, coach and inspire, and added another positive element to the event. Hector's commitment to giving them all constructive feedback and advice, and his interest in their sailing and their questions, was fantastic; the club, the sailors and the series appreciates his visit very much.

Race 3 was delayed by a short postponement while a heavy rain shower passed through which flattened the wind completely. Once it dried up the wind filled in and the race team wasted no time in getting the fleet started. Unfortunately the wind failed to steady and dropped off during the first lap, to repeatedly fill and then die at points around the course giving the Optimist sailors in the regatta division opportunity to creep up the overall results with Leah Byrne beating Oscar Manning and her sister Devon into 7,8,9 overall.

The race team shortened the course to make it as fair as possible to all sailors. Isobel Arkle from Sunderland YC (in her second competitive event) and Ethan Wild (in his first) steadily improved during the day to get their best results in race 3. Whilst Baxter and Brophy continued their close racing, at the front Horsman's Byte got away from the rest of the fleet to take the win with the rest of the fleet trying their hardest to catch him in the shifts. Redmond finally got into the top three on handicap with Burton in fourth.

Race 4 was abandoned giving the overall win to Bates with two firsts and a second, with Horsman second and Spence in third.

Another great day of sailing in the North East & Yorkshire Youth Traveller series which visits twelve clubs in the region. The next event is at Scaling Dam on Saturday 5th June and can be entered via

The series is grateful to the sponsorship support from Lulham-Robinson sailing and to the RYA's regional volunteer team who has provided keepsake trophies for the series.

Main Fleet Results:

1st- Tom Bates, Laser Radial, Ripon SC
2nd - Alex Horsman, Byte CII, Ripon SC
3rd & 1st Junior - George Spence, Topper, Ripon SC
4th - Henry Redmond, Laser 4.7, Covenham SC
5th - Archie Burton, Laser 4.7, Pennine SC
6th & 1st Girl - Kyla Baxter, Topper, Covenham SC
7th - Ella Brophy, Topper, Ripon SC
8th - Liam Boyce, Laser 4.7, Filey SC

Regatta Division Results:

1st - Oscar Manning, Optimist, Ripon SC
2nd - Olly Thompson, Topper, Ripon SC
3rd - Zach Williamson, RS Tera Sport, Ripon SC

Endeavour Prize: Ethan Wild Ripon SC & Isobel Arkle Sunderland YC Race Officer's Notable Performance: Olly Rickarby, Ripon SC

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