313 young sailors battled it out on Rutland Water at the weekend at the Volvo Musto Optimist End of Season Championships. The End of Seasons are the last major event on the Optimist calendar. It attracts international competition.
Rutland Sailing Club played host to the event and even though much of the UK were experiencing a late Indian Summer, the first day saw testing sailing conditions starting with a wind of 17kts, gusting in the low to mid 20s that grew stronger throughout the day bringing a distinct chill. Sunday’s sailing saw the opposite with perfect conditions on the water, the sun and a consistent 12-14kts of wind.
We cannot have been prouder of the Corinthian Otters. I begin with the Regatta Fleet. There were 87 competitors. The event was won by Matt J. He had 5 wins out of the 10 races. His worst result was a brilliant 6th. Colette Bacon was 5th overall. She was the first girl (approximately half the fleet I think 38 were girls which is great news for young girls in our training groups). She secured her first bullet in an IOCA event in her 5th race and left the event having taken 4 seconds. Next was Louis Brand. He came 12th overall and really found his form on the Sunday with two 4ths and a 3rd. It was great to see him up there with the leaders. Matt Braybrook suffered on the first day with gear failure – tiller extension and kicker both needing to be replaced. But he made up for it on the Sunday. Two fantastic 3rds and a 2nd (and the best port hand start of the weekend) made sure that his overall result was a 24th.
One special mention has to be given to young (very young) Ben HP. He is 7. He was just about the youngest sailor. He put in a fantastic set of results particularly given the conditions on Saturday. We had children older than Ben capsizing on the start line and retiring. Ben came 56 out of 86 boats. He managed a 19th on the Sunday which was just brilliant.
The Corinthian Otters have been reported in Yachts and Yachting as follows:
“The Regatta fleet was dominated by young sailors from Burnham’s Royal Corinthian Otters and Bristol Corinthian Sailing club. It was close at the top in the Regatta fleet with Corinthian Otter’s Matthew Jayasekara, 11, clinching the title from Bristol Corinthian sailors Jamie Harris and Ryan Bush, both just 9 years old. Daniel Legg, 11 finished fourth followed by the top girl Collette Bacon, 10 also from Corinthian Otters in fifth place.”
I turn to the Main Fleet. These guys are sailing against some of the best optimist sailors in the world. There were a staggering 222 boats in the fleet. James Hutton penman came in overall 25th which was just brilliant having banged in 4th and 6th. Thomas Johnson was 30th with a top 10 result on the first day. Tom J was 78th with one his best results in the top 30 – a huge achievement. He was closely followed by Chay Taylor in 81st and Arthur Brown (still aged 10) in 89th. Striling Taylor was 95th. Kathryn HP’s had a great top 50 result in the 4th race and despite not finding her usual form finished with over 70 boats behind her in 155th.
So overall we should be very proud of these guys and as a club.