Two Optimist National Championships - UK & Ireland, by Finian Morris
This summer I have competed in two Optimist National Championships in the UK and Ireland. The weather was not the best and the wind blew for almost every race, 18 out of 19 in total! Incredibly, I wore the same kit every day and was never hot, cold or uncomfortable. So I have worked out my perfect sailing wardrobe and it consists of;
- Dinghy boots paired with Rooster Polypro Socks (great when your boots are still wet from the previous day)
- Rooster Classic Hikers (these give extra support for hiking and are still comfortable when sitting in the boat - they keep me warm in any weather too!)
- Rooster Polypro Top under a Rooster Thermaflex Top
- Rooster Pro Lite Aquafleece on top, unless it’s light and warm in which case I keep this in reserve.
- I always wear Rooster gloves
- The only item I change depending on the weather is my headgear, with a Rooster Aeromesh Visor or an Aquafleece Beanie if the weather is colder! I now carry the Beanie in a zip lock bag tucked under my buoyancy bag strap, so that it's dry when I need it. So that's the kit sorted (thanks to Rooster ;-) ). How about the events and the racing?
The British National and Open Championships were excellently hosted for 370 sailors and their families by WPNSA. Sailing took place inside the harbour and conditions were breezy all week. Two days were blown off resulting in a series of ten races. I had a great first day and was lying 15th overall. Being small eventually took its toll and I finished the event lying 28th in the junior fleet. Not a bad result at all for my first nationals!
We headed home for a quick turn around before getting the ferry to Ireland where my Dad's family live. We had a great week on the west coast enjoying other water sports, kayaking, SUPing, skim boarding, gorge walking and cliff jumping! My mum loved the Rooster Aquafleece whilst kayaking on Killary harbour - she can't wait for me to grow out of it!
We headed to the wonderfully smart and traditional Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. I was doing the Irish Nationals as part of the British junior team, kindly supported by Volvo and the RYA. The team of 16 had a great week and learnt a huge amount from the excellent, professional coaches, Sarah McGovern and Gareth Viney. Before the event we had two days of coaching, one day it gusted 39 knots in Dublin Bay. Despite this we braved it and this stood us in great stead for what proved to be another windy week. The team of 16 ended a well organised, fun week with some excellent results. I was proud to finish 11th overall in the junior fleet and 1st under 12 year old still wearing my favourite combination of Rooster kit!