The 4th Optimist Open meeting in the 2017 IOCA (UK) Southern Traveller Series took place at Royal Lymington Yacht Club on 3 & 4 June 2017.

Perfect Lymington sailing conditions greeted the 94 sailors across Main Fleet and Regatta Fleet on Saturday morning.  Local sailor Santi Sesto-Cosby won race 1, benefiting from knowledge of the tides, closely followed by Lolo Davies in 2nd and another local sailor George May in 3rd place.  The wind soon picked up with gusts up to 28 knots by the end of the day, favouring the top end of the fleet.  James Foster, winner of the recent Hayling Island Optimist Open, won races 2 and 3.

The regatta fleet saw many of the younger sailors struggling to stay upright in the heavy wind with 9 year old Dylan Creighton commenting the conditions were “wild out there!”.

The fleets enjoyed great sailing conditions on Sunday and 4 races were completed in Main Fleet.  James Foster gave a masterclass in heavy wind sailing, securing the title by winning 2 out of the 4 races.  In 2nd place was Ben Mueller and in 3rd place, Toby Schonrock.  Freddie Howarth, in 4th place, was 1st Junior.

James Foster commented on the weekend’s sailing “5 years ago at this event, I capsized on the way to the course and didn’t make the race course so feel for the younger sailors. But this weekend, the conditions were brilliant and led to tough racing.  On the last race I knew I had to cover the 2 sailors behind me to win the event”.

6 races were completed in regatta fleet, with the title won by Fredrik Ugelstad who won 3 out of the 6 races, followed by Harvey Jenkins and Archie Munro-Price.

Many thanks to the organisers at Royal Lymington Yacht Club, Berthon, New Forest Ice Cream and Coffee Mongers for the great treats, as well as Rooster® for the Series prizes.

Report: Claire Mueller


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