Midland Sailing Club Junior Race Day

by Nancy Gudgeon published Nov 11, 2016 05:20 PM, last modified Feb 14, 2017 06:16 PM
Midland Sailing Club Junior Race Day

View from the committee boat

This year's junior race day, where juniors compete for the Gooden Trophy was held on Sunday 30th October 2016.

Midland sailing club juniors race day, always eagerly awaited by the juniors of our club took place on Sunday 30th October 2016.

The day started early at 9am with the club very busy with 11 youngsters aged from 7 to 17, their parents and many club volunteers rigging dinghies and preparing two safety boats and the committee boat and running the galley.

The light wind from a difficult direction, low water level and also the presence of rowing boats made the life of Race officer, Richard Dee ably assisted by Chris Martin, hard, however after the welcome and briefing by junior's leader Adam Maclean eleven boats launched to do battle.

The average lap format allowed the two Solos, four Optimists and five Toppers to race together on equal terms, with small courses and short races to keep things exciting. The first race started just before 11am saw the two Solos of George and Oliver lead the way after an “interesting start”. The Toppers were also close with both Evan and Ella going very well at the front, and Alexander leading the Optimist fleet. George won this race overall with, Evan first Topper and Alexander first Optimist.

The second race was sailed back to back with the first. Another interesting start by the Solos saw them both over the line at the start and having to return. The Topper fleet saw a fantastic start and first beat with Joseph, Ella and Evan in close contention. George again won overall.

After an excellent hot lunch prepared by Claire Taylor and Sarah Crabtree, and a video debrief from Adam, the third race got underway just before 2pm in even less wind. This time the Solos got away cleanly with George making an excellent start. The youngest competitor, Optimist sailor Will, sailed well and after a battle with Alexander on the first leg, rounded the windward mark third, behind the two Solos and ahead of the complete Topper fleet. Alexander and Will were extremely close downwind but by the leeward mark the more experienced Alexander and the Toppers of Freya and Hannah managed to round this inside poor Will, who dropped back slightly. Freya and Hannah who had not had a great morning seemed both motivated by Richard Dee's words at lunch sailed their best races finishing well ahead of the rest of the Topper fleet. This time Oliver won to keep things interesting in the Solos with Freya first Topper and Alexander first Optimist.

After a 15 minute delay and much debate from the race team over wind direction, the fourth race started on a new course. George led the Solo battle at the first mark closely followed by Oliver. This time however the most interesting and impressive sailing was to come from 7 year old Will in an Optimist. After rounding the windward mark, third again behind the two Solos and ahead of the complete Topper fleet, a determined Will made unmissable watching sailing the downwind leg to perfection, this continued around the leeward mark and on the following beat even passed the leading Topper of Ella just before the finish line. Certainly a helm to watch out for the future.

The now complete lack of wind saw the end of racing and 11 tired and happy youngsters coming ashore. With great teamwork from everyone, parents, sailors and the volunteer race team, the 11 boats and 3 power boats were packed up in record time ready for the finale.

Adam did a short talk and then announced the results. George was first overall and wins the Gooden Junior trophy; Ella was first Topper and Alexander first Optimist.

Finally a big thank you to everyone who gave up their time to help run this special event. It was a privilege seeing our juniors making such levels of improvement throughout the day and satisfying that Midland Sailing Club's Juniors section continues to thrive. Well done to all.