Three way scrap

Three points separate top trio going into final day of the Volvo Musto Optimist British Open and National Championships

Thursday August 13th 2009, Author: Gillian Smith, Location: United Kingdom
The race for the 2009 Volvo Musto Optimist British Open and National Championships crown is set to go to the wire as just three points separate the top three sailors in Largs going into the final day.

Roger Dorr from the USA and Brits Josh Voller and Callum Airlie will scrap it on the last day of racing on Scotland’s West Coast tomorrow to decide who will land the British Open title.

Burghfield SC’s Voller, 13, and 14-year-old home talent Callum Airlie from East Lothian YC, will also be engaged in a battle of their own as they bid to claim the British National prize.

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.

And in front of 1992 Optimist National champion Ben Ainslie, who was in Largs today passing on expert advice and tips to the 350 captivated young sailors competing at this week’s Volvo Musto event, it was Voller’s day in the light airs as he won the day’s sole race – race nine overall.

In taking race victory the Berkshire teenager moved into second overall just two points behind Dorr and also wrestled back the lead in the race for the British National title from Airlie, who finished ninth in the race.

Voller admitted he was delighted to be going into the final day with a shot of becoming National champion.

He said: “My aim for the week was to finish in the top 10 so I’ve already done better than I thought. I’ve been working the wind shifts pretty well and I’ve really enjoyed the week so far.

“Having won the first race yesterday I didn’t do so well in the other two races and dropped a few points behind Roger and Callum. I knew I needed to try to work extra hard and be extra focussed today to pull back up and now I need to make sure I am consistent tomorrow to try to stay up there.

“Roger and Callum have both sailed really well all week as well and it’s been a great competition so far so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s racing.”

American Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick is in pole position to land the overall girls’ title having broken into the overall top 10 for the first time this week courtesy of her fifth-place finish today.

Guernsey YC’s Johanna Asplund still heads the British charge in the girls’ fleet – lying second behind Grapengeter-Rudnick – but Hayling Island’s Megan Brickwood sits hot on her heels in the race for the top British girls’ prize trailing Asplund by only six points. Sara Doust (Cardiff Bay YC) is third Brit.

More than 350 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.

This is the ninth year 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).
Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow 10.25am - the event will consist a maximum of 12 races for the Senior and Junior fleets.

Results - senior fleet - here

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