The 12-year-old Papercourt SC sailor enjoyed a successful opening day on Scotland’s West Coast on Sunday where two fourth places saw him settled comfortably in second in Senior fleet (13-15 years), tied on eight points with leader Roger Dorr (USA) after two races.
However, with the wind struggling to get above three knots in the Firth of Clyde today (Monday 10 August), the call was made to abandon racing for the day in mid-afternoon meaning Guildford schoolboy Hampshire will look to consolidate his position at the top end of the leaderboard when racing resumes tomorrow.
Some of Britain’s most illustrious Olympians have passed through the Optimist class on their way to the biggest prize in World sport including triple Olympic Champion Ben Ainslie, two-time Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Sarah Ayton and Andrew Simpson, who claimed Beijing 2008 Star class victory alongside Percy.
Hampshire said: “I wasn’t too frustrated at not being able to race today. I had a good day yesterday and found some good consistency so I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.
“This is my first year in the Senior fleet and in the past year I really feel my sailing has come on well. My speed out of the tacks has improved, I’m getting better in all weathers and my tactics are improving as well.
“I would have taken being second at the end of day one before racing started so I really hope I can pick up where I left off but I know there’s an awful lot of racing still to come.”
Dorr’s fellow countryman Ravi Parent holds third spot with six Brits in total sitting inside the top 10, 13-year-old Josh Voller from Burghfield SC the second-placed British sailor in sixth overall and Waveney and Oulton Broad YCs’s Zach Brubert, 14, third Brit in seventh.
Of local talent, Helensburgh SC’s Ross Stanley-Whyte, 14, is well placed in eighth overall and fourth in the race for the British National title while Callum Airlie, also 14, from East Lothian YC, is 20th overall and 12th Brit.
It has been a good competition for the American’s so far with 14-year-old Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick (USA) heading up the girls’ fleet in 12th overall while Bristol Corinthian YC’s Penny Guess, 14, leads the charge for the girls’ British National title as she sits in 26th overall.
More than 350 British and international sailors from as far afield as the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe have descended on Largs for what is the 48th Optimist British Open National Championships, which run until Friday 14 August.
Ben Ainslie, CBE – Optimist National champion in 1992 - will be in Largs on Thursday 13 August sharing his experiences and giving advice on how to reach the top.
This is the ninth year that Volvo and Musto have jointly sponsored the Optimist Sailing Class in the UK and includes support for three major annual championships: The Volvo Musto Inland Championships (16-17 May 2009), the Volvo Musto National Championships (7-14 August) and the Volvo Musto End of Season Championships (10-11 October 2009).
Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow (Tuesday 11 August) at 10.55am with up to a maximum of four races able to take place. The event will consist a maximum of 12 races for the Senior and Junior fleets.