Strong winds and big waves on first day

Gusty conditions up to 35 knots and white capped waves greeted sailors on Saturday morning. However the wind, as forecasted, dropped just after lunch for the first day of the Eric Twiname Championships at Rutland Sailing Club.

Sailors spent the morning team building waiting for the wind to drop. For some, this is their first multi-class event and it was a great opportunity to meet new sailors from different classes and Zones.

The Topper, Optimist and RS Feva classes launched in the early afternoon and headed to their respective courses to complete one race each. The blue course for the Optimist and RS Feva fleet was tucked just below the headland, this created a favoured right-hand side beat, the sailors that recognised this led the races.

In the first race the leading pair of Optimists rounded mark two with a comfortable lead over the rest of the fleet however a number of course errors put them back in the pack. Ruben Stokroos (Scotland) and Will Jarman (South) took advantage of their mistakes sailing the correct course to finish in first and second respectively.

RS Feva sailors stormed around the race course with brother duo Jude and Eric Mcfarlane-Bond (South West) excelling in the blustery winds. They took off on the reach as they hoisted their kite and sailed away to win the only race of the day.

The siblings have raced together for two years finished sixth at last year’s Eric Twiname Championships and are looking for a podium finish this time round.

Eric about sailing with his older brother said: “Sometimes it can be really annoying sailing with him [Jude] especially when we mess and argue but it is really good when we do well.”

Topper sailor Tim Hartnell (South East) had an up and down race, he was first off the line but capsized in a tack as he got stuck under the boom. Hartnell rounded the windward mark in fifth and sailed through the fleet to win the race finishing just ahead of Fouad Ghareeb (Northen Ireland).

Hartnell was pleased with his race: “I was confident coming into the event and was hoping to finish in the top ten so I am really happy with my first race.”

The four windsurf fleets relished the windy weather conditions and flew around the course. Ethan Moody (South), sailing a 5.8, won his race from the very start and just sailed away from the rest of the fleet. Lachlan Ross (South West) and Ben Mccann (West), 6.8m and 7.8m respectively, also had quick board speed and top their class overnight. Emily-Jane Eldred leads the fleet and the boys in the 4.5m with her race win today.

The Laser 4.7 fleet launched at 1500 and completed two races. Proving their windy weather prowess, Arthur Brown and Milo Gill-Taylor won a race a piece in the gusty conditions and they now sit on equal points in first and second.

Mark Nicholls, RYA Youth Racing Manager commented: “The morning was frustrating for the sailors as with the wind gusting up to 36 knots. However the race team were keeping a watchful eye on the water and made the correct call to go out in the afternoon, all the classes completed at least one race in challenging conditions.

“The forecast for tomorrow looks lighter and we hope to complete a full schedule of races”

Towards the end of the afternoon sailors enjoyed Human Table Football and a Victory in Europe BBQ.

You can follow the event on the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook and on Twitter @RYAYouthRacing.

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