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News - Latest News
15 Jul 2014

SHSC Optimist Open and Midlands Area Champs

Optimist Open 2014

Thirteen sailors gathered at a sunny Staunton Harold Sailing Club in south Derbyshire for the Staunton Harold Optimist Open and Midland Area Championship over the weekend of July 12-13.

A one-day open meeting on the Saturday was followed by further racing on the Sunday, with both days counting for the IOCA-backed Midland Area Championship.

Day one welcomed sailors with sunshine but no wind, allowing time for on-the-water games, including a little-known version of Quidditch and some energetic sprit-paddling races!

A light breeze in the afternoon then saw three close races, with one discard. Home sailor Chloe Felton led the way in each race to take the overall win, while the battle for second was between her brother Jacob and Draycote Water Sailing Club's Millie Irish, both aged 10, and went right down to a dead heat in the final race.

The race officer could not call which of them had crossed the finish line first in race three and they were awarded joint second place. With both also counting a second from earlier in the day, they had to be separated on countback, making Jacob second overall and first junior with Millie third, both on four points.

In the regatta fleet Kieran Bray from Banbury Sailing Club took the overall win counting two bullets. As in the main fleet, the racing was close. Hollowell's Hazel McDonnell took second in the regatta fleet with a 3,1, separated on countback from Kieran's sister Aimee in third counting a 2,2.

A breezier day two then saw three more races to complete the series for the Midland Area Championship and a further hat-trick of wins for Chloe Felton, who having continued her success across the weekend took the regional title in impressive style.

Millie Irish added a 2,2,4 to her previous day's tally of two second places, to finish second overall and first junior on 12 points, with Jacob Felton just one point behind in third. Draycote's Katie Byne and Staunton's Kamran Ewbank rounded out the top five.

Kieran Bray, inspired by his first day's results, made an unscheduled return on day two and was rewarded with the overall win in the regatta fleet.

A special award (the Endeavor Trophy) went to Tara Ewbank, who has just learned to sail, for successfully completing her first open event.

Special thanks go to the class association, IOCA UK, for sponsoring the event, to the organisers Andy and Zoe Felton, to the hard-working and smiley Staunton Harold members in the galley, and to race officers Lol Hayward and Terry Forbes, for running both the Optimist racing and all the usual club racing on both days.

The Midland Optimist Team – which organises events such as this and winter training – is now looking forward to the Optimist National Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy at the beginning of August. To find out more about the Midland Optimist Team, email: midlandoptimistteam@gmail.com