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News - Latest News
23 Aug 2013

Our Oppie Itinerant Sailors On Tour

Midland Champs 2013 017 Largs 2013 251 Largs 2013 281 Largs 2013 204

Oppies on Tour 1
IOCA Midland Champs  13th/14th July
For the first time, all Optimist Regional Champs were a weekend long event held at the same time. This year they were held at Barnt Green in the West Midlands, with 3 of our sailors attending.
As with our own Oppie Open, there was plenty of sunshine but the event was plagued with light wind. Saturday saw 3 races followed by a parent and child Pico race where pretty much anything went. Unfortunately this had not been communicated beforehand so appropriate clothing hadn’t been taken! The children had great fun playing how many can you get on a Pico before a BBQ and camping. Sunday saw another 3 races – after a spot of hairdressing by the girls! 
After 5 consecutive bullets, Chloe Felton won the event but she kept the spectators on their toes with some fantastic tactical covering. With the wind coming in for the final race she enjoyed herself winning with a large lead. Chloe (with Zoe as crew) also won the Pico race despite being held back by the race officer on several occasions (apparently getting too far ahead deserved a penalty!) and being pulled out of the boat just before the finish. Swimming hard, the boat crossed the finish line with her in tow – you can steer from in the water can’t you!
Not so far down the fleet were the other 2 SHSC sailors, Kamran Ewbank and Jacob Felton. Yet again it came down to the last race as to who was going to win the regatta fleet. Unfortunately Kamran capsized at the gybe mark which meant that Jacob won the Regatta Fleet trophy but Kamran didn’t give up and took the Endeavor Trophy. They both did the club proud and sailed well, having a good go at finishing ahead of Zone Squad sailors. 
Watch the calendar next year – we’re hoping to hold it at Staunton so it would be good to have strong local turnout like we did for the open.
Photo – Midland Champ 2013 017
Oppies on Tour 2
IOCA Optimist Nationals 
The Feltons and Ewbanks also travelled to Largs for the Oppie Nationals, with Jacob and Kamran both doing Regatta Coaching. For Kamran this was his first time on the sea and he was raring to go. Things were done a little differently this year, with the Coaching fleet racing with the Racing fleet so there were about 55 sailors. Both sailed well and learned a lot from the week, both from their coaches and from watching the other sailors. It was good to see them gaining in confidence over the week.
Scotland let us experience most of what it had to offer, so they had a variety of conditions from tidal light wind to a squawl (which main fleet missed) to racing in 20 knots. Friday’s 25-30 knots was a reaching time trial, which saw Jacob come 10th and Kamran 12th out of about 40 sailors. Kamran got the coach’s award for his group and Jacob got 2nd boy in the Coaching fleet. Well done boys!
For Chloe the week didn’t go as well but she learned a lot about tidal sailing in light winds and improved over the week! Thursday saw the wind come in and she had a much better day pulling in a 26th. She also learned that Jurors aren’t ogres after winning her appeal for redress following a capsize just past the startline in which she drifted backwards. She finished 85th overall.
Shirley Robertson visited the young sailors on the Monday, spending the day on the water with them. Jacob kept it quiet that she’d asked to have her photo taken with him! Afterwards she gave a very inspirational talk about perseverance, with a chance to hold her 2 gold medals