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Royal Harwich Yacht Club Junior Race Week 2021

by Mike Clayton 27 Sep 2021 11:29 BST 23-27 August 2021
'Blow a Boat' competition during Royal Harwich Yacht Club Junior Race Week 2021 © Kathryn Deaton

Junior Race Week 2021 was back to the normal range of boats and activities after the restrictions of 2020. A team of over 25 volunteers each day under the leadership of the Rear Commodore Sailing Stephen Olle and Race Officers Joe Hunt (Main Fleet) and Alex Davey (Optimist Fleet) delivered a fantastic week of racing for 58 junior and youth sailors from 23rd to 27th August. In addition the popular Regatta Fleet was back with 16 less experienced sailors having fun with some coaching, games and races.

The main fleets completed the full schedule of races across the five days, although the northerly wind direction, across the River Orwell provided a real challenge for the Race Officers when course setting. Leaders after day one were James Deaton and Cat Albone (Fast Handicap - RS200), James Russell (ILCA), Katherine Burgess (Slow Handicap - Topper) and Oliver Means (Optimist).

With the start times moving later as the week progressed the mornings provided opportunities for social catching up for the sailors. Tuesday saw the leaders extend with Millie Deacon and Gracie Joslin (RS Feva) winning the final race for the Fast Handicap and William Thorogood wining in the ILCA Class. In the Optimists Dominic Bowden won the first race of the day to re-enforce his position as second overall.

Wednesday saw more pressure on the series leaders with Ethan Davey and Sean Woodard (RS200) in the Fast Handicap gaining two seconds and a first to move up to second overall. Thomas Davey moved up to second in the ILCA fleet winning the last race of the day. There were no changes in the Slow Handicap where Katherine Burgess continued her run of first places and Oliver Means gained three more first places in the Optimist Fleet.

There was an increase in the wind strength for Thursday. In the Fast Handicap we saw RS Fevas winning all three races with Toby Aldous and Ollie Joslin wining two races and Millie Deacon and Gracie Joslin one race to strengthen their grip on second place. In the ILCA class William Thorogood had the best day with two race wins and moved up to third overall, with Robin Dean wining the last race to move up to second. In the slow handicap Katherine Burgess continued her run of first places and Oliver Means won two of the Optimist Races to get a tight grip on first place.

The leaders in each fleet from Day 1 all held on during the final day. Behind James Deaton and Cat Albone (RS200) in the Fast Handicap Millie Deacon and Gracie Joslin (RS Feva) did enough to hold of a late charge from Toby Aldous and Ollie Joslin (RS Feva) who scored a first and a second. Sean Woodard and Ethan Davey (RS200) did enough to remain third overall. In the ILCA class James Russell had a comfortable overall win. Behind him a race win for Thomas Davey moved him back to second with Robin Dean winning the first race of the day to come third. In the slow handicap Katherine Burgess (Topper) completed the week by wining every race, behind her Jago Jennings (Topper) beat Beatrice Walker (Topper) on count back with both tied on 24 points. In the Optimist Class three more wins for Oliver Means ensured no threat to his first place with Dominic Bowden in a comfortable second place and Stella Davey holding on to third.

The Cormorant award for seamanship was awarded to Antonia Munoz of the Regatta Fleet for stopping when another sailor had an issue with their boat and the Herbert Wyatt Award for their positive approach was awarded to Bailey Pitt and Caspar Thorpe who were sailing a club RS Feva. The Sarah-Jane award for making a contribution was received by Amy Bowden and Jane Hudson as a posthumous award for the contribution made by Ewen and Mary Stamp over many years to Junior Race Week.

Off the water the important annual "Blow a Boat" competition was won by Ollie Deer and Darcy Bowen.

Fleet Winners were:

  • Fast Handicap - James Deaton and Cat Albone
  • ILCA - James Russell
  • Slow Handicap - Katherine Burgess
  • Optimist - Oliver Means

Full results can be found at

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