Optimist SW zone selection sailing at Lyme

Prominent off shore this weekend in strong winds gusting to 22 kts, and sometimes almost lost in the troughs between swells of up to 10 feet with breaking crests, were visiting young Optimist sailors joining Lyme members for South West Zone Squad selection races, followed by training sessions on Sunday. Optimists are the first stage in the RYA pyramid for single handed dinghy racers, leading to National or even Olympic squad participation.

Altogether, 30 entered, with a hardy 7 completing the whole series of 4 races in the tough conditions. The less experienced enjoyed slightly more sheltered waters west of the Cobb.

Overall winner was Anna Utting from Starcross YC, closely followed by Emily Elms from Thornbury and Katy Jenkins from Bowmoor

The helms ranged in age from 7 to 14, visitors travelling from as far afield as Reading competed. Lyme’s Raff Porter made 11th place, with Ed Stubbs, Archie Melville and Archie Sowerbutts also joining in.

On Sunday, 4 professional coaches, all of whom have been British sailing team members and previous National, European or World champions , came to coach 33 young sailors.

The racing was organised by Vice Commodore Dave Stubbs who leads the Lyme Optimist groups, and he presented prizes to the winners.

Results Zone Selection Series
1. Anna Utting, Starcross YC, (1,2,1)
2. Emily Elms, Thornbury, (1,1,3)
3. Kathy Jenkins, Bowmoor (2,3,2)
4. Archie Munro-Price, Castle Cove SC (3,3,4).

image (1)
Kathy Jenkins stays ahead of Archie Munro- Price

Below winner Anna Utting surfs downwind maintaining balance in breaking waves

image (2)

Photos Pauline Rook

Reported by Sally Holman