UK Optimist Open National Championships 2023 at Weymouth
Published 10:47 on 23 Aug 2023
Jacques and Guy Kent nervously entered the IOCA Optimist Nationals at Weymouth and Portland National Aailing Academy in August. They represented both Emsworth Sailing Club and Parkstone Yacht Club.
It was a pretty daunting experience with close to 250 optimists sailing on the water at any one time. This was the COWboys' first big competition. Jacques sailed in the junior main fleet with lots of friends, and Guy sailed in the regatta fleet.
It was a really busy week and lots of fun hanging out with friends and getting some good racing in. The weather was variable - initially quite rainy and very windy, especially on the second day but it was sunny and hot for a few days in the middle of the week.
In the regatta fleet Guy did 20 races overall and in junior main fleet, Jacques did 15 races. Jacques came 68th out of 84 competitors. Guy came 9th from 64 competitors.
The boys had a great time during the week. It was a really good opportunity to sail with and make friends with competitors from across the world, as far away as New Zealand and Thailand. It was a well organised event with loads of great prizes on a daily raffle for Sailing goodies.
Whilst a bit daunting to start with the boys very quickly got into the groove with the races and felt really comfortable, safe and supported, despite been quite a long way out from the harbour in the wet and wild conditions.
Wilbur PW came an impressive 15th in the Junior fleet with Kate C in 46th, while in the Racing Regatta fleet, Felix PW came 12th and Theo F 15th.
Image credit: Paul Sanwell / OPP