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North East Optimist Regional Championships at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club

by David Coady 14 Sep 2022 11:00 BST 10-11 September 2022
Daniel Atkinson after 3 weeks of learning to sail working hard in regatta fleet during the North East Optimist Championships © David Coady

The NE Optimist Regional Championships took place at Derwent Reservoir on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of September. Saturday was grey with a fine drizzle and often cold at times as competitors respected a minute of silence for the sad passing of our magnificent Queen.

The format for the weekend was going to be a mixture of the long and short sprint races with the hope of trying to sail 10 races over the two days.

As an RTG indicator children were vying for places in winter training squads. The club welcomed a total of 23 boats with competitors from Saint Mary's Loch in Scotland down to Glossop and as far as Leigh and Lowton. The main and regatta fleet sailed as one fleet which made for busy start lines and lots of learning opportunities for the regatta fleet sailors.

Panic briefly set in amongst the race committee when it looked at times like sand yachts rather than sailing dinghies would have been a better call. After a trip across the desert of sand, water was thankfully found. In fact there was plenty of space in the reservoir for all.

The north-westerly wind held throughout the Saturday afternoon but the cold damp conditions seeped into the skin of some of the younger sailors leading to some early returns to shore. At the front of the fleet Toby Wagget 6572 managed to secure a win in each race but hot on his heels was Olivia Coady in 5080 despite having had two individual recalls.

Alex Welfare had a very consistent first day in fifth place. There were some great sibling rivalries between Dougal Jackson and younger brother Hector Jackson from Saint Mary's and the Smith boys from Glossop.

Sunday was glorious with a warm light south easterly and sunshine! This is why we sail. The same format continued throughout the day with exciting races in the sprint affairs and lots of place changes and rule questions. Alana Starkie prevented Toby getting it all his own way. Special mention to Robin Wright for taking the final race after Toby lost his sense of direction at the last mark which ended in a protest. Sebastian Vials made is debut to the circuit by winning the regatta fleet in emphatic style (main fleet beckons). Safe travels. Hopefully we can wear caps rather than woolly hats a bit longer.

Full results can be found here...

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