Optimist Selection Trials, Inlands and Parkstone!!!
Photo Credit: Alex Irwin, Sportography.tv
So far this year has been very busy, I have just got back from the IOCA Optimist Selection Trials, held in Weymouth and Portland Harbour at the National Sailing Academy. There were 79 sailors entered and we were all competing for a place in one of the four teams; Worlds, Europeans, Development and Flanders. There were 12 races in total over a period of 4 days.
Day 1 – Friday. It was a fairly windy day where we successfully completed three races. This was my first selections and I found the first day tricky, we were not allowed to have a coach.
Day 2 – Saturday. This was a very windy day, with gusts of over 30 knots. I love the windy weather so I achieved a couple of top 20s. I felt my confidence was growing as I settled in to the series. It was also the longest day. We left the academy at 10am but we didn’t start a race until 1:30 (due to shifty conditions in the bay) and we stayed out till nearly 6pm having finally completed another 4 races. It was a very long day!
Day 3 – Sunday. This was a medium winds day. We completed 4 races in the harbour, I had a couple of 20s and a 9th. My confidence had built and by the end of day 3 I was raring to go I felt more and more comfortable.
Day 4 – Monday. This was also a very windy day, but we only needed to complete one more race to finish the series. We headed out in to the harbour and waited for the start sequence to begin, I had only just enough time to go through my pre-start routine when the 5 mins signal sounded. I had an incredibly good start where I pulled a port hand flyer on the entire fleet and made my way to the right hand side, tacked and was lifted all the way to the top mark. I rounded the mark in 9th where I gained a place on the downwind and the reach and then gained two more on the up wind leg to the finish.
I was thrilled to finish the last race with my best result (6th).
I successfully qualified for the Flanders Team competing at Nieuwpoort in July. I can’t wait!! :-)
After the Selections we were all off to Grafham for the Inland Championships, this is the first ranking event of the year. It was very tricky conditions - typical shifty lake sailing, not at all like the waves in the Solent where I train!! I had a really good weekend, but there are still two more events to go.
Finally, last weekend I went to the Parkstone Optimist Open Meeting, this event is part of the Rooster Southern Traveller Series. It was a great weekend. Parkstone organised a brilliant event and I really enjoyed myself. On the Saturday it was windy (just how I like it), but very wet!!. On the Sunday it was light winds and sunshine (the sunshine was great, but more wind would have been good). I had a really good weekend and out of 60 boats I finished 6th :-)
I am looking forward to the next event in the Rooster Traveller series at Lymington, and of course Flanders!!Sam de la Feuillade GBR6311