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The Point of Learning to Sail

posted Jul 8, 2015, 3:09 AM by Results Admin   [ updated Jul 8, 2015, 3:21 AM by Dabchicks Admin ]

IOCA Eastern Area Championships 4th & 5th July 2015

Anyone reading this will know that Saturday was the kind of day for which we endure the cold, rain, gales and calms, the kind of day that comes round just once or twice a year when a hot wind, sun and friends all come together for a magical day of sailing. 29 Optimist sailors enjoyed perfect conditions on Saturday. With an oscillating WSW breeze the Carantec  course was set tucked under Old Hall Point on the Blackwater Estuary, which gave some protection from the flooding Spring tides, whilst keeping an interesting tidal gradient across the course to keep them thinking

The tide and general enthusiasm caused a high rate of OCS, but General Recalls were avoided and four races completed allowing a discard to kick in.  Competition was close with some races going to the wire with hard hiking and judicious sheet work on the reaching leg into the finish.  After four fantastic, tactically challenging races a pattern was emerging in Main Fleet with Fergus Fox from Burfield SC leading the field on 5pts, followed by Flo Brellisford from Royal Corinthian Otters on 7pts and Terry Hacker from Hunts SC in third with 11pts. The visitors were showing well with top local boat Gabby Clifton in fifth with 12pts. In Regatta Fleet there was a bit more churn in the fleet, but that Brellisford name showed up at the top again, this time younger sister Felicity on 4pts, followed by two Dabchicks sailors Theo Clifton second on 8pts, and Harry Blackmore third on 10pts. 

A glorious afternoon followed with a BBQ on the club balcony as the evening Sun sank into the marshes. The sailors showed that should they not manage to make a career out of sailing they will do OK, as the spirit of enterprise runs strongly though them. Alarge group harvested marsh samphire to roast on the fire and sell for a very reasonable 40p a portion or £1 for two…

It seems that there must always be a yang to any yin, and so the price we had to pay for such a memorable day on Saturday was a truly glum morning on Sunday, raining stair rods and a fickle,listless wind. The sailors launched in the hope that the breeze might build and stabilise to give a race, and after bouncing  a couple of times to either side of a 90degree shift it appeared to settle and a course was laid and a race got under way. A subsequent 60 degree shift was handled with aplomb by the mark layers on the fly, but this put the windward marks out in the tide and as the wind dropped once again the boats were swept on the tide inexorably towards Maldon. Sadly this race was abandoned and as the water glassed off a mighty cheer accompanied the abandonment of further racing – an encouraging sign that they love their racing…

So the overnight results stood:

Main Fleet

1st Fergus Fox, Burfield SC

2nd Flo Brellisford, Corinthian Otters

3rd Terry Hacker, Hunts SC


Regatta Fleet

1st Felicity BrellisfordBurfield SC

2nd Theo Clifton, Dabchicks SC

3rd Harry Blackmore, Dabchicks SC

Thank you to all those who’s hard work and time made the event possible.

Full Results: