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Optimist Midland Travellers Series at Midland Sailing Club

by Jon Smith 19 Jul 10:30 BST 18 July 2021
Leaders rounding the windward mark during the Midland SC Optimist Open © Debbie Smith

The 2021 Midland Travellers Series for the Optimist class kicked off on the hottest day of the year so far at a new venue for the class, Midland Sailing Club on Edgebaston Reservoir in central Birmingham. With little wind as the boats rigged up the race team headed out promptly to get racing started.

After a few postponements and resetting the course, as the wind swung round 180 degrees, the first race was away. Dilara Soyer took the first win of the day but, with the wind disappearing again, the fleet paddled in for an early lunch.

The breeze arrived over lunch and the committee quickly got the start sequence under way, with the course reset for a new wind direction as temperatures pipped 30 degrees. Over lunch, the sailors' competitive instincts had also got a lot stronger, with three boats being called back for being over the start line at the gun.

A wind shift and gust just before the start of the 3rd race allowed Theo Smith and Will Cowley to hit the line at full speed on port with Theo's lead remaining unbroken to the finish.

A quick bit of maths between races led to some fierce luffing battles in the last race, as every point counted to determine the overall placings.

6575 Theo Smith (South Staffs SC) was 1st overall counting three race wins. 2nd and 3rd were tied on points but the tie was broken as 6206 Dilara Soyer (Draycote SC) won the first race, giving her 2nd overall. 3rd overall was 6365 Jack Hodgkins (South Staffs SC). For a number of sailors this was their first open meeting and they all finished all the races.

Thanks to Phil Reeves and the volunteers on the water and in the galley at Midland SC for hosting in the sweltering heat.

For more Optimist sailing events in the Midlands see www.optimist.org.uk/all-events/midlands-event

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