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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 3 - LEADERBOARD

Optimist Open at Blackwater Sailing Club

by Lucy Purnell 7 Oct 2023 18:49 BST 16 September 2023
Main Fleet start during the Blackwater Sailing Club Optimist Open © Anna Lau

The Indian Summer arrived just in time for this year's Optimist Open meeting at Blackwater Sailing Club; a one-day event and indicator for the East's regional training group RTG. This year with a bumper entry of over 80 boats.

The amazing facilities at this river-based club, allowed for three groups of Oppie sailors to take part. The racers were split into two groups, regatta and main fleet, plus a third group were put afloat on the club's very own pond. This fleet were shown land drills before gently easing themselves into sailing on the lake led by an able team of instructors. A perfect start for those embarking on their sailing journey.

Meanwhile, back at the club house the 60 strong racing fleets were briefed and set afloat. They were met with perfect conditions; the calmness of the early morning weather had transformed into champagne conditions. A sea breeze had built, providing the racers with a steady eight to ten knot wind across the course.

The Main fleet completed four races in total. The first two were won by Blackwater's very own Callum Marshall, but in the third race, four of the top five sailors were all over the line. The peak of this Eastie fleet is very tight and these sailors constantly push each other, unfortunately too far this time!!! Stella Davey capitalised on their mistake and took the win in this race. She finished 2nd overall with Noah Mathers taking 3rd place on count back, and Callum Marshall managed a 3rd in the final contest putting him at the top of the leaderboard.

The Regatta fleet raced on a slightly smaller course closer to shore and managed six races to complete their series. A lot of these sailors were local children, some racing for the first time, the perfect conditions easing them into the sport. Visiting sailor, Oscar Purnell from The Essex Yacht Club took the overall win, followed by two Blackwater sailors Isabelle Miller in 2nd and Evie Truman in 3rd.

The day concluded with prizes and a spag bol supper followed by a disco, a great day was had by all the competitors a perfect way to end the summer season.

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