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News - Latest News
12 Apr 2015

Staunton Harold's Chloe Felton wins the first ever Grafham Optimist Easter Egg Regatta

Easter Egg

After a disappointing Optimist Spring Champs where Chloe Felton was 1
of less than 70 out of 170 to achieve a result due to the regular 30+
knot gusts, 4 of Staunton's juniors travelled to Grafham for the
inaugural Optimist Easter Egg Regatta. It was a complete contrast - a
leisurely start to the day with the first race not being until midday,
and calm conditions with the breeze almost gone by the end of race 2.
Chloe managed to prove that you can still sail an optimist well in
light wind when you're on the larger side, winning that race by quite
a margin! The sailors were sent ashore to see what the wind would do,
with racing abandoned an hour later. So Chloe finished the day on top
of the leader board.

Jacob Felton also had a good first day, finishing the day in 11th
position with a 14th and 7th. Kamran Ewbank found himself sailing
around with his North Zone pals, whilst his sister Tara was eagerly
sailing in regatta fleet.

The day concluded with a party where there was plenty of fun and
games, not to mention cakes! They all enjoyed spending time with their
friends from MOT and Zone Squad, plus making new friends.

Saturday brought different conditions again. Regular white horses on
the reservoir meant that the forecast wasn't correct, so what would
the day hold? Everyone rigged for windy conditions, but by the time
they launched the breeze was already dropping. A quick resetting of
the sails just before they launched, things weren't quite as calm and
relaxed as they were on Good Friday! Some sailors decided they weren't
up for it, but all 4 Staunton sailors set off got a good day's
sailing. Chloe started well, winning the first race in style. Kamran
was leading the little pack of MOT sailors in the middle of the fleet
until Jacob made an interesting choice to go left which gave him a
10th while Kamran got a 14th. In regatta fleet Tara was going well,
not put off by the breeze. These were challenging conditions for
someone who has only been sailing a year yet she coped with them
remarkably, achieving a 9th. A good race for all Staunton sailors.

The wind dropped slightly, but there was still a good breeze. Race 4
was harder work for Chloe, with the top 3 positions constantly
changing. Having got the lead on the last leeward mark, she then got
sandwiched on the reach losing out to both sailors. Lower down the
fleet was a similar story to race 3. Kamran had the advantage at the
start, but going left paid again for Jacob, and Tara got another 9th
in regatta fleet.

With the breeze still dropping, they went very quickly into race 5.
PRO Peter Saxton put them through their paces. Chloe took the tactical
advantage to achieve a third race win. The others were starting to
feel the physical pressure though, and Jacob's favouring the left no
longer paid. This was the last race for regatta fleet, though only 9
sailors competed in this race.

Main fleet continued into race 6 to get the full complement of races
in, meaning 4 races back to back without a break. After 5 races with a
clean line, a shift caused the committee boat to swing round and 6
sailors were black flagged. Tension was building on shore as we were
fairly certain that Chloe was one of those sailors. The question was -
did she know, and would she sail her rival down the fleet? She
remained in the lead, with a handful of boats between herself and Ryan
Bailey. As she neared the finish line, she was presented with a board
rather than a hooter - she had indeed been over the line. Chloe wasn't
too worried though - she'd done the maths to know she didn't need to
take the risky strategy of match racing Ryan, but was very relieved to
hear enough beeps before he crossed the line! Jacob had also been
caught out by the shift, picking up his second black flag in as many
weeks. At least he was near the line though!

Both girls were awarded a prize - Tara a spot prize for perseverance
and Chloe the first ever winner of the Grafham Optimist Easter Egg
Regatta.

Results:
Chloe Felton 1st
Jacob Felton 15th
Kamran Ewbank 28th
Tara Ewbank 13th Regatta fleet

For full results:
http://www.grafham.org/wp-content/uploads/_results/Open%20Meetings/2015/Optimist-Easter-Egg-2015.htm