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News - Latest News
7 Oct 2014

Our youngsters continue to perform well at the West Zone Champs

Zone champs 2014 004

On the last weekend of September, 3 of our junior sailors competed in
the RYA zone champs. Chloe and Jacob Felton travelled to Blithfield to
compete in West Zone Champs alongside a number of other Midland
Optimist Team sailors, whilst Kamran Ewbank travelled to Derwent to
compete in North Zone. For the first time in many years, there were
large numbers of oppies, both in the experienced fleet at West Zone
(21 sailors) and the emerging fleet at North Zone (17 sailors).
 
Very different conditions met the sailors. Whilst North Zone had a
nice breeze all weekend at Derwent, Blithfield (like most of the
country) was calm with the AP flag raised until lunchtime. At about
1pm, the sailors eagerly launched and racing got under way. The wind
wasn't great, but it was the best of the forecast so they were making
the most of it. Challenging conditions, the wind was fickle but the 2
sailors challenging for IOCA national squads were soon breaking away
from the rest of the fleet. Jacob was in the large pack of boats that
was following, with the stragglers being lapped by the 2 front
runners. The 2nd race followed pretty much the same pattern, with the
best wind of the day. The 3rd race was particularly light, with Chloe
taking the lead after a good start. Again Chloe and North West's
Archie Leckie broke away from the pack, but this time it was more
spread out with lots of small groups of boats. Jacob was at the back
of the second pack, making his way to 5th at one point only to get
muddled by a Feva and drop down to 9th. Meanwhile Chloe and Archie
were having a game of cat and mouse with some of the Fevas and Toppers
getting in the way, with Archie coming out victorious.
 
Sunday fared no better. Although the AP flag was actually flying
briefly, it was short lived and the decision to abandon was taken at
midday.
 
Chloe finished in 2nd place overall, the only 1st girl to be in the
top 3, with 1,2,2. Jacob finished 13th overall.
 
The West Zone Indicator at Leigh and Lowton the following weekend gave
the Zone Squad hopefuls a chance to sail in better conditions - in
terms of wind anyway! Unfortunately the sun gave way to rain, but a
base wind of 10-12 knots allowed a full day of sailing. After a
mornings coaching on starting, there were then 3 short races in the
afternoon. Jacob sailed well all day, achieving 6,7,6 in the races.