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News - Latest News
19 May 2015

Optimist Selections

Optimist selections 3

A week after winning the Banbury Open for the second time, Chloe
Felton went to Weymouth for the Optimist Selection Trials. This is an
invitation only event, with approximately the top 80 optimist sailors
in the country getting an invitation. This year there were 77
acceptances. The aim was for 12 races across 4 days with only 1
discard. It is a notoriously tough event, and this year it was made
harder by no support on the water. An independent allocated support
RIB was provided to put food and drink in, and this RIB was the only
one they could have contact with. No on the water coaching
what-so-ever was allowed.

Racing started Friday lunchtime with a reasonably strong breeze - high
teens/early twenties. They got 4 good races in, all clean starts.
Chloe made a decent start, achieving a 31st in her first race. A
further 3 midfleet results left her in 41st overnight, 1 girl place
outside of a Development Team place at the Europeans.

Saturday was very similar wind conditions, but this time the wind was
coming round the Bill. Chloe began the day with a 24th and was in a
similar position in race 6 before capsizing following an avoidance
tack. Too busy righting the boat, Chloe forgot to shout protest! She
picked herself up to achieve a 21st before they came in for the day.
This put her in 36th overall, with a potential place in Development
Team.

Sunday was forecast to be even stronger, but the worst of it passed
before they launched. Unfortunately the fog then came in. Unable to
see the other end of the startline, the sailors were kept near the
committee boat initially before being shepherded back to shore to be
tallied to make sure they hadn't lost anyone! Although the fog kept
lifting, it soon returned so they abandoned racing for the day at 2pm
- only for it to clear completely 10 mins later.....

Monday was a completely different kettle of fish. Much lighter, a
number of people commented on the lack of shifts which resulted in a
lack of tactics and a great importance on the start. Unfortunately
starting is not one of Chloe's strong points. They couldn't make up
for the loss of racing on Sunday, but they still pulled in 4 races
with no real breaks inbetween. Although her results weren't as good,
she was still holding onto the reserve girl place for Development Team
until the final race. Her worst result of the series saw her drop 8
places to 51st and with it lose the Team place.

Although disappointed, Chloe pulled in some really good results against stiff competition and should be proud of herself, beating a number of Intermediate Squad sailors.