The Volvo Gill Optimist End of Seasons took place over the past weekend, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October, at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy. The London 2012 Olympic Waters saw some of the best youth sailing talent come from all around the compete in the final Optimist Class event of 2015.
The event was a success with 237 competitors taking to the water, closing a fantastic 2015 season of sailing, good wind, sunshine and great racing.
WPNSA, host of the London 2012 sailing events, is a fantastic venue to inspire all young sailors at this weekend’s third IOCA ranking event for 2015. Easterly winds of 15 knots gusting 19 should set up an exciting weekend of competitive sailing. Results from this crucial event decide what squad, if any, the sailors will go into for the winter.
Team Volvo athletes and British Sailing Team members attended the day to support the aspiring sailors. Nacra sailor Hannah Diamond and 470 Sailor Sophie Weguelin started their sailing careers in Optimist boats, and were able to offer words of wisdom in a Question and Answer session after racing on the Saturday.
Hannah said ‘I have great memories racing in the Optimist Class; it’s perfect for the young sailors who wish to improve their skills and push to compete at a high level, it was great being here this weekend to meet the young sailors’. 10 years on, the competitors look to follow in Hannah’s footsteps from grass route to elite sailing success.
The main fleet had six races, three races on both days. The wind was NE 15-20 knots on Saturday, similar conditions on Sunday with the wind blowing 10-15 knots on Sunday afternoon.
Main fleet winners:
– 1st Rhys Lewis (CBYC) age 14 he had a total of seven points, three firsts, two seconds and he discarded an eight.
– 2nd Jamie Cook (CNYC) age 12
– 3rd Matt Beck (Bowmoor) age 14
– 4th Gael Simon (CN Rennes – France) age 12
– 5th Cossie Lewis (Bosham), age 14 & first Girl
Transition fleet winner: Megan Farrer, age 10, from Emsworth Sailing Club
Regatta fleet winner: Maya Brown, age 10, from Burghfield.
The Vovlo Gill End of Seasons event is the third and final ranking event of the year, the results are very important to the sailors within the top third of the fleet; as it decides what squad, if any they get into for the winter.
The UK’s Optimist class, supported jointly by Volvo and Gill, is one of the most popular starter boats and provides young sailors with the opportunity to learn and develop their sailing skills, helping them on their sailing journey.