Final Oppi Champs at Poole
The event is the last in the series of three national Optimist events jointly sponsored by Volvo and Musto, and is the clincher for the coveted national Optimist rankings. Those who make the grade will be invited to join the prestigious National Squad and to compete at selection trials early next year for the World and European Optimist Championships.
A year on from winning a Gold medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney last year, Iain Percy will visit the event on Saturday to watch the racing and hold a masterclass. Iain, who started his career in an Optimist dinghy, is coming to give the young sailors top tips and no doubt to inspire them to follow in his footsteps to the Olympics. “The Optimist dinghy is the launch pad for so many sailing careers, so I’ve no doubt we will be watching some future Olympians here in Poole this weekend” said Percy.
Reigning Optimist National Champion, Tom Mallindine will have tougher competition than faced in Largs at the National Championship earlier this year, when many of the top competitors were away at the European Optimist Championships. Some names to look out for include; Josh Metcalfe, Philip White, Ed Powys, Richard Mason, James Murdock, William Morgan, Robert Claridge, David and Richard de Boltz
Tim and Ben Saxton (who will appear on Blue Peter on 8th October), Claire Lasko and Maria Stanley.
This weekend will see the fleet split into two groups. 70 entries are expected in the regatta fleet, designed especially for beginners. The other 180 entrants are racing in the main fleet.
“We are delighted to welcome so many young sailors from all over the UK to Poole”, said Fiona Rainback from Poole YC. “It’s going to be a breezy weekend so we are looking forward to some exciting on the water action.”
“With the Volvo Ocean Race boats making their way to Cape Town, it’s exciting to see some sailing action back here in the UK” said James Kendall from Volvo Car UK.
Also in attendance will be Nigel Musto from sponsor Musto.“Musto is delighted to be on board with the Optimists” said Nigel Musto, Deputy Managing Director of Musto Ltd and a past winner of a major Optimist event himself in 1977. “At Musto we support some of the World’s top sailors including Ellen MacArthur, but it’s also great to support the future stars of our sport.”