Four of our Optimist sailors headed to Lymington for the Spring Championships this past weekend for a tough but fun weekend of races. Whilst Huw headed out with main fleet, Béa, Cian and James joined the Regatta fleet.
Cian came 3rd boy + place, Béa 2nd Girl + 10th place, James 14th/35th – all of them sailing really well and finishing consistently in the top 10. Huw gave an impressive performance to come 95th/175. With big left shifts, tide, waves and changeable conditions, these sailors had a lot to think about.
Here’s what Béa Sparks had to say….
It’s your first IOCA event of the season, after not sailing for three months. Was it easy to go back to sailing?
Yes because I’ve been sailing for years and I’ve experienced those weather conditions. I like the waves even though they were big (I don’t like small choppy waves) . The first day was horrible with the wet weather and I didn’t like it much. The seconds day was better- still windy but not rainy. Nice weather to sail in! The safety crew and race officers were very kind and helpful.
Lymington is tidal which you’re not used to as an inland sailor, how did you find it?
I found it hard to get on the start line because of the tides but I got better at it!
You were consistently top third of the fleet, so what did you do really well to get there?
It was tough racing but when you know which way to go up the course depending on tide and wind, it is a lot easier. For instance, on Sunday in the last three races, going up the left was quicker because I was lifted on port tack and going with the tide. It was mainly the beat you had to get right, the other legs didn’t matter so much. Instead of the usual trapezoid course, we sailed a triangle because of the winds so we didn’t have to go on a dead run. The waves were quite helpful going downwind as they were quite big.
You had 470 Olympic silver medalist Nick Rogers as your race officer, how do you feel about that?!
It was nice to have a younger race officer and it felt good to have a really experienced sailor – he took the time to brief and debrief us, offering tips and advice to help us improve and manage the conditions. I did like knowing he was an Olympic sailor.
Full report over at Yachts & Yachting
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