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News - Latest News
9 Oct 2015

Well done to Chloe Felton - Midland Zone Champion

Zoe Felton wins

September's RYA Zone Championships saw junior sailors in each Zone compete within their own fleet. The optimists had a combined Midland and North Zone Championships at Ullswater Yacht Club, with 41 entries. Chloe and Jacob Felton were both competing - Chloe racing for the title, and Jacob for his Zone Squad selection.

With a high pressure sitting right over the North West, it meant sunshine but little or no wind. Saturday was frustrating with frequent readings of 0 knots so the sailors spent the day on shore.

Sunday's forecast was better, so the start-time of racing was brought forward by half an hour. Unfortunately Sunday started misty, and with a hot air balloon flying over Ullswater it didn't bode well. Although the sailors launched, the wind was staying so they were sent back ashore for an early dinner. Just before midday, wind was spotted near Howtown so the committee boat moved down the lake and the fleets launched. 3 good races followed, each with clean starts. Chloe had a brilliant start in race 2 to take control, leading all the way round the course and lapping some of the back markers. Jacob also sailed well, coming in 5th. Some tactical sailing saw Chloe take a 2nd in race 3.

Chloe finished 2nd overall on equal points with the winner, both counting a 1st and a 2nd. She was also 1st girl and Midland Zone champion. Hector Simpson, part of the Finn Podium Potential Squad, presented with her with her trophy. Jacob finished 10th overall and 3rd Midland sailor.

Talking about the event - one of her favourites in the season Chloe said:  In all honesty the main reason I went this year was because my brother is looking to get reselected for zone squad, but with a fleet of 40 oppie sailors of all abilities it was an ideal opportunity to get some good racing and startline practice. However, it has been a hugely important event to me throughout the years as I have gained all sorts of experiences from a better understanding of the rules, to improving my racing and tactical awareness. And being the best in your region is something we all aspire to!

And for all Staunton's aspiring young sailors, she continued, talking about the ups and downs of racing: "You have to keep trying, even when things don't go to plan. Enjoy your sailing, you sail much better when you do."