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IOCA Optimist Team Racing Championship 2023 at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy

by Jamie McEwen 17 Aug 23:42 BST 5-6 August 2023
Optimist National Team Racing at Weymouth © Paul Sanwell / OPP

On Sunday 6th August, 56 Optimists hit Portland Harbour to contest the inaugural (or at least first in living memory) UK Optimist Team Racing Championship. The sailors had formed teams of four, with many getting into the team spirit with matching bibs and practice sessions in advance.

The event was originally planned to run over Saturday afternoon and Sunday, but wind of 30 knots on Saturday meant only one day was possible. Fortunately the breeze on Sunday was much better, ranging between 10 and 18 knots. To make the most of the limited time, racing began early and the races came thick and fast, with rolling starts every 3 minutes over several hours.

Thanks to great work by PRO Imogen Gibb, Chris Atkins and his team of umpires, and the team of mark layers and coaches on the water, the 14 teams sailed a full all-sail-all round robin - 91 races in total.

The teams showed great skill and enthusiasm and racing was competitive but friendly. There were a number of very close races, both at the top of the table and lower down, and learning opportunities abounded. At the end of the round robin, one team was unbeaten at the top of the table: "Team LEHJ" - Lila and Eliana Edwards, Harry Draper and Joe Wimpory. They were hotly pursued by Team DangerBear - Freya and Isla Hutchinson, Jonny Rogers and Leo Gosling - who scored 12 wins out of 13.

Next in the table on 11 wins was "ARMD and Dangerous" comprising Joe Armstrong-Rowland, William McEwen, Thomas Dempsey and Dirk Rogers, followed by two teams on 9 wins: an international team (representing GBR, Bahamas and Hong Kong) of Jai Mutreja, Eliza Denning, Ryan Surguy and Charlie Holland; and "Team COLD" - Andrew Perratt, Finn Ramus, Hector Davies and Hugo Fletcher. The international team edged the tie on head-to-head.

So the top two teams went through into a best-of-three final, with many of the other teams staying out to watch. Team LEHJ won a very close first race, and then sailed beautifully to establish a dominant position in the second race which they never relinquished. They were crowned worthy champions and become the first holders of the fantastic Ramus trophy, kindly commissioned and denoted by the Ramus family for this event.

Well done to all the sailors and a huge thank you to all the helpers for all their hard work.

Overall Results:

PositionTeam nameRibbonsSailorSail NoNumber of wins
1LEHJYellowEliana EdwardsGBR 658313
1LEHJYellowHarry DraperGBR 662813
1LEHJYellowJoe WimporyGBR 660813
1LEHJYellowLila EdwardsGBR 662013
2Team DangerBearHunter GreenFreya HutchinsonGBR 651912
2Team DangerBearHunter GreenIsla HutchinsonGBR 628912
2Team DangerBearHunter GreenJonny RogersGBR 661112
2Team DangerBearHunter GreenLeo GoslingGBR 649512
3ARMD and DangerousRedDirk RogersGBR 661211
3ARMD and DangerousRedJoe Armstrong RowlandGBR 657811
3ARMD and DangerousRedThomas DempseyGBR 654711
3ARMD and DangerousRedWilliam McEwenGBR 657411
4TBAYellow x2Jai MutrejaHKG 2559
4TBAYellow x2Charlie HollandGBR 64519
4TBAYellow x2Eliza DenningBAH 1449
4TBAYellow x2Ryan SurguyGBR 64649
5COLDBlackAndrew PerrattGBR 66249
5COLDBlackFinn RamusGBR 65539
5COLDBlackHector DaviesGBR 65499
5COLDBlackHugo FletcherGBR 62929
6Smile & WaveLime GreenAlex SaundersGBR 66317
6Smile & WaveLime GreenFelix GarlickGBR 63497
6Smile & WaveLime GreenMerryn WealthyGBR 63687
6Smile & WaveLime GreenPatrick di SalleGBR 63167
7Force 12Red x2Callum MarshallGBR 65167
7Force 12Red x2Jacob JullGBR 62427
7Force 12Red x2Noah MathersGBR 66067
7Force 12Red x2Stella DaveyGBR 6157
8HISC HurricanesWhiteNia ByrneGBR 66106
8HISC HurricanesWhiteIsla HillGBR 64306
8HISC HurricanesWhiteRachel ElmsGBR 49406
8HISC HurricanesWhiteWilbur Palmer WardGBR 65466
9MACH 4PinkBen McEwenGBR 65825
9MACH 4PinkLizzie HudsonGBR 58445
9MACH 4PinkOllie AtkinGBR 66235
9MACH 4PinkRuby CosterGBR 65225
10Nauti by NatureOrangeDaisy FullerGBR 65245
10Nauti by NatureOrangeHenry CruseGBR 65295
10Nauti by NatureOrangeLaszlo DrummondGBR 66225
10Nauti by NatureOrangeSebby BaileyGBR 65865
11Oceans FourPurpleEwan HamiltonGBR 62314
11Oceans FourPurpleGughi CeccatelliGBR 66054
11Oceans FourPurpleHarry RamshawGBR 62704
11Oceans FourPurpleHarry WhelanGBR 64494
12Team HISCBlueBeth LlewellynGBR 64241.5
12Team HISCBlueKate CharlesworthGBR 65141.5
12Team HISCBlueSam MachellGBR 64461.5
12Team HISCBlueWilliam FullerGBR 65231.5
13The FireboltsBlue x2Sam Armstrong RowlandGBR 65981
13The FireboltsBlue x2Poppy ArmstrongGBR 52511
13The FireboltsBlue x2Isla ArmstrongGBR 50511
13The FireboltsBlue x2Amelie RenardIRL 13141
14Team BoreasWhite x2Alex WelfareGBR 55000.5
14Team BoreasWhite x2Finlay WhiteGBR 63440.5
14Team BoreasWhite x2Henry BladesGBR 65000.5
14Team BoreasWhite x2Lochlyn GrantGBR 60130.5

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