Eric Twiname Championships

 

Eric Twiname Championships – May 2016

This year’s Eric Twiname Championships were hosted at Rutland Water Sailing Club, as it is every year. The Eric Twiname Trust is lead sponsor for this premier national event for Juniors. It is one of the largest sailing events in the calendar for regional teams in Optimists, Toppers, RS Fevas and 4 classes of Bic Techno Windsurfers. It is also used by Laser 4.7s as the first part of the selection process for the National Junior Squad. Over 270 competitors attended the 2016 Championship held at Rutland Sailing Club on 7th– 8th of May. The teams are decided by their zone squad HPM and squad coaches, who choose the best or highest ranked members of the zone squads, excluding UK Squad sailors. Overall there are 9 zones from all corners of the country: Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the six zones of England: South, North, East, South West, South East and Midlands.

273 sailors competed over a sunny, warm weekend in relatively light wind conditions, with very close racing for some classes on the final day. The South East Zone dominated the windsurfing classes, securing first and second in the 6.8m and 7.8m Techno. The East Zone won overall in the Optimist class. After the first day of racing, many Welsh topper sailors were very highly ranked in the results and this continued throughout the event with the overall results showing 3 Welsh sailors in the top 20: Lowri Boorman – 3rd, Duncan Lloyd Evans – 4th and Jake Scott finishing 12th, two of which were from Dale Yacht Club, with a fleet size of 86. Northern Ireland were given the Dinghy Trophy at the prize giving because of a tie between Wales and Northern Ireland in the topper results. This was later corrected when the committee realised that the Sailing Instructions stated that the tie would be broken due to the position of the highest ranked sailor from each of the tied zones, Northern Ireland’s was 5th and Wales’ was 3rd therefore Wales was rightfully crowned with the Dinghy Trophy.

The Welsh team were delighted to have won the championships for the first time in 30 years and hope to be as triumphant in years to come.

Plymouth – June 2016

The most recent junior event for toppers was the 5th in the National Series at Plymouth where Lowri Boorman finished 30th overall and 7th female and Jake Scott finished 57th and 42nd male out of a fleet size of 121. Also in the 4.2 fleet Andrew Scott finished 26th and was 5th under 11 from a fleet of 32.

The conditions varied massively from very light winds of about 6mph to strong winds of over 25mph, but generally increased in strength throughout the weekend. On the second day of racing it looked likely that the day’s racing would be postponed due to very poor visibility with lots of thick fog covering the entire harbour but the topper fleet launched on time and unfortunately just as the rain came in. As they made their way to the racing area the majority of the fleet had to tack to avoid a very large private cruiser as it sounded its loud horn accompanied by a dark pilot boat. As another cruiser sailed out from the mist, the start was postponed for 20 minutes until the starting area was clear. Starting became very difficult for the whole fleet because of the poor visibility it was impossible to get a transit for the start line which resulted in a huge line sag of about three or four boat lengths, and the best starts were made by those at the committee boat or pin end where the start line was clear to see. The fog slowly disappeared as the day went on and by the 3rd race there were no remaining traces of fog to be seen.

By the 7th and 8th race of the event, the wind had become very strong and in between those races the whole topper fleet had to wait for about 30 minutes before starting the 8th race, to let the ferry pass through the channel. Many sailors drifted very far down below the start line because of the increasing tide strength that could clearly be seen on the port channel marker.

Article submitted by Sarah Boorman