Optimist Inland Championships

»«17th & 18th May 2008

Day 1 - grey, rainy and a light north to north easterly breeze. A quiet day as far as results for most of our Otters with two notable Main Fleet exceptions. Fleur Page scored an excellent 8th place in race two; to score a top ten finish in these championships is a real achievement as competition is so great. The real star of the first day however was Thomas Johnson who, at the grand old age of 10 (just, I think), was lying in 64th place overall after three races - a truly incredible achievement, his trainer was proud but not quite as proud as his mother!

Day 2 - sunny and a stronger breeze from the North East. If you read the report on the IOCA website (www.optimistsailing.org.uk - Inlands 2008) you will see two Otters mentioned. Firstly Isabella Minks was mentioned for winning race four in Regatta fleet having led almost the whole way round - what a result. Her father, behind me in the RIB, was a gibbering wreck and I was not much better! Isabella then went on to sail an absolutely brilliant second day, she would have won the fourth race of the day in my view had she not been so tired and forgot where she was on the course coming up the final beat - she finished 7th overall in Regatta fleet at her first event - a star in the making.

The second name mentioned was James H-P who made up for a very disappointing first day by scoring a 3rd place in the fourth race in Main Fleet having led on and off during the race. Fleur and James both proved that many of our sailors can compete with the absolute top UK optimist sailors - the key is being able to compete at that level consistently.

My final well done goes to Louis Brand who was our youngest sailor at the event, he never gives up and always sails well - if not always in the right direction! Your time will come Louis...

Nick Hutton-Penman