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News - Latest News
12 Aug 2016

Oppie Nationals 2016

Oppie Nationals 2016

Sunshine greeted three Staunton sailors as they arrived in Largs for what turned out to be a near perfect week of sailing conditions. Despite the threat of high winds, conditions for the week were largely between 8 and 18 knots, giving good but varied conditions - until Friday when there was literally nothing!

Sailing got underway Sunday afternoon. With a force 4 and a forecast of light winds for Monday, PRO Peter Saxton decided to get an extra race bagged which made for a late evening off the water. Races were put in swiftly, though the senior fleet were struggling to stay behind the line on Uniform flag - especially on race 3 when 28 sailors were black flag disqualified. Jacob made the most of it pulling in an amazing 7th (though apparently he had befriended an Irish sailor again!) while Tara had her first experience of results queries after they missed her off the results in race 2. Race 3 was abandoned for the juniors as there was a huge shift and drop in wind on the the first beat. Unfortunately for Tara she was benefitting from the shift as November was flown.   It was a bit of a baptism of fire for Thomas on his first time on tide which resulted in him not finishing the racing that day - but of course that didn't hold him back! Chloe coped with the first major event where she wasn't sailing by providing coaching support to the Midland sailors.

With over 120 boats on the junior fleet startline, it was busy but Tara got in on the action even if she didn't manage to get one of those key front row positions. She sailed confidently, never giving up, pulling in some top 100 results to finish 116th overall making for a successful first main fleet nationals.

Life wasn't as tough in senior fleet as in previous years. A number of top sailors have left the fleet this year, but the 90 strong fleet was about 50% international sailors so there was still plenty of competition. Trying to find the line was a challenge for the seniors with a number of starts requiring at least one general recall. Jacob managed to stay the right side of the line - or at least not get spotted! Experiencing both the front and back of the fleet, Jacob achieved mainly midfleet results to put him in 66th overall at the end of the regatta.

After a shaky start to the week in regatta coaching, Thomas made a strong comeback with several excellent results. Unfortunately their away day on Wednesday was rearranged to be shore based due to the forecast, but many new friends were made over the week. Two bullets meant that Thomas finished 3rd.

Friday was a very different story. The wind started building late morning, so the fleet was launched ready for a 1pm start. Partly due to unstable wind, it took 4 attempts and a number of BFDs to get the seniors away. This pushed racing to the time limit. Timed perfectly, the seniors had one chance on black flag but had a general recall, so racing was over for them. The juniors had a Uniform flag start, but with the seniors heading to shore some juniors decided they wanted to join them so purposefully caused a general recall. There was just time to give them another chance but again a large enough number sat on the wrong side of the line. In an unusual situation, the event was then declared over. Meanwhile, the regatta fleet had spent the morning drifting around but were taken ashore before the breeze came in. A rather sad ending to the event....