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News - Latest News
6 May 2017

Congratulations, Jacob for winning the Banbury Optimist Open!

Jacob Felton wins Banbury Oppie Open

Following the last of the IOCA winter training sessions on Saturday at Banbury, the Oppies were back on Sunday for the Open. There were a few people missing as it was also the Optimist Selection Trials in Weymouth, but there was still a good turnout with around 40 boats, including Staunton's Jacob Felton.

Reasonable wind, from unusual directions with unexpected shifts and plenty of gusts made for interesting sailing. For some of the regatta fleet sailors who had just finished their first winter of training it proved quite tricky, but Jacob enjoyed it putting into practice the experience he's gained over the last couple of years. There was a lot of tactical sailing going on towards the front of the fleet with sailors taking different routes to the upwind marks, often with sailors coming out of them in a completely different order! Jacob managed to read the shifts on the water, making a lot of gains to secure two wins in the morning races.

The afternoon brought with it some suspense. Once more Jacob had got himself out in front with a reasonable lead. However, just as he rounded the final mark his boom strop broke meaning he had no control over his sail other than to directly hold onto the boom! He kept his cool though and, after a quick stop to see if there was anything he could do, finished the race only losing two places.

Unfortunately Mum had abandoned him to go for a walk! With the help of a couple of Oppie Dads from Burghfield, Jacob managed to make a temporary strop and get back out on the water in time for the final race even if there wasn't time to readjust his rig setup as the breeze had dropped. A big thank you to those Dads - it's good to know you're in a fleet where people will help you even if they don't know you!

Hollowell's Hazel McDonnell took the lead early on in that last race and there was no catching her. Coming towards the end of the race Jacob was in 3rd but he fought to the end, taking the better line to the finish and coming in 2nd.

With two bullets and a second place, Jacob scooped first place overall, carrying on the apparent tradition of a Felton sailor winning the Banbury Open every other year, congratulations!

For a full list of results please go to: http://www.banburysailing.org.uk/article/optimist-open-results-1