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NSSA National Youth Regatta at Draycote Water Sailing Club - Overall

by Jeremy Atkins 29 Jul 2023 16:51 BST 23-28 July 2023

Well it's over. The hundreds of competitors, team managers and helpers have left Draycote Water Sailing Club - their home for the last week at the NSSA National Youth Regatta sponsored by Fernhurst Books. We hope they had a great time and will have fond memories of their event with us.

The weather again played ball and allowed the allotted two races for the 'main' fleets, giving them a total of 14 races (two discards). Of course, the Regatta fleets went one step further and did three races on the final day, giving them a total of 18 races (3 discards).

And the Regatta fleets (for the less experienced sailors) certainly benefitted from the extra races, the race officer briefings each day and the on-the-water coaching that was available. Norman Byrd, the race officer said, "The progress in the fleet over the week has been tremendous and wonderful to see. By the end, they were all racing purposefully and nearly all of them will be able to cope in the 'main' fleets next year."

In the Handicap Regatta fleet, James Gillmore of Plymouth in a Fusion continued his winning ways, winning two of the day's races and cemented his position at the top of the leaderboard. Thomas Zanyi of Northamptonshire didn't have a particularly good day, but still retained his second place overall. Josh Barrett of Plymouth, who was lying third at the end of Day 4, was not so lucky - he slipped back to fourth allowing Thomas Moriarty of Northamptonshire, who had top 3 finishes in all of today's races, to move up to third overall.

In the Topper 5.3 Regatta fleet, the day started with the first three very close on points, but the over-night leader, Jasper Nicholls of Northamptonshire scored 4, 1, 1 to consolidate his lead. Will Paddick of Oxfordshire (third overnight) also had a great day (1, 2, 2) to move into second ahead of Jai Dhaliwal of Northamptonshire. These three were well clear of the rest of the fleet.

In the 'main' fleets, the green course was home to the single-handed single-class fleets.

In the ILCA 4, Robbie Hudson of Kent had won the event with a day to spare, but still went out to race, although it was a poor day (for him!). Electra Reeves and Tyrii Bell of Cambridgeshire also maintained their second and third places.

The ILCA 6 class had the two top competitors tied on points overall overnight, so it really was a final-day showdown. First blood went to Matthew Botten of Crawley Mariners Yacht Club, with Julien Rohart of Oxford only managing fourth - his second lowest result of the week. Julien now needed to finish first in the final race, with Matthew fourth or lower. Well Matthew obliged (coming fifth - his worst result of the week), but Julien only managed third and so was left in second place overall. Third overall was Enya Gibbs of Kent.

The Topper 5.3 fleet was another where the final day would decide the top three, but, in the end, the positions remained the same as overnight, with Daniel Hebditch of Kent winning both races to ensure he remained on top. Keah Edwards of Cambridgeshire got a second and third to stay second, and Robert Hole of Cambridgeshire kept third overall.

On the yellow handicap course in the fast handicap fleet, the most dominant performance of the week was achieved by Patrick and Jonathan Hill of Derbyshire in their RS200. They were third in the first race of the say and won the final one to leave them counting nine first places, two seconds and a third! Someway behind on overall points were Ben Sherry and Adam Aziz of Bosworth Lake in a 420. They won the first race and came fourth in the last one. In third place overnight, Luke Anderson of Milton Keynes & Buckinghamshire in an Aero 7 did enough to maintain his position overall.

In the slow handicap fleet, the overnight places were also maintained to the end. George Jacobs of Derbyshire won in a Byte C1, Noah Byrd of Northamptonshire was second in his Optimist and Alex Harder of Oxfordshire third in an ILCA 7.

After the two (or three) races, all fleets came ashore for lunch and packing up of boats and tents. By 2.30pm the overall results had been published and, after a 30-minute wait for any scoring queries, the prize-giving started.

William Whittaker, Draycote Water Sailing Club Commodore and father of one of the competitors, thanked everyone for attending especially the volunteers and the Draycote staff team of Dave Rowe, Matt Rowley, Rebecca Owen, Ethan Cheshire and Mark Dunkley.

Jeremy Atkins of sponsors, Fernhurst Books, then presented (via their team managers) every competitor with a copy of a book - either Wind Companion or Introduction to Racing Companion, depending on their fleet. He then presented books by the authors who had contributed to the welcome video to mid-placed members of each fleet. Matthew Donley of Cambridgeshire was the lucky winner of a signed copy of the Laser Campaign Manual by Ben Ainslie.

There then followed all the NSSA prizes which are too numerous to list but are shown in the photographs.


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