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Optis Enter Final Day of UK Nats

30th July 2010
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Optis Enter Final Day of UK Nats
The penultimate day of the Volvo Musto Optimist Nationals provided plenty of thrills, and that wasn't just restricted to the water!! Ireland's sailors fought hard to stay in contention, with Peter McCann retaining sixth place in the senior gold fleet and Daire Cournane staying in the medals in the junior gold fleet, in third place going into the last day.

Double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton and top 470 crew Saskia Clark were out on the water today, handing out tips and passing on some of their vast experience to the Optimist sailors. The 497 competitors and their families were also treated to a breathtaking display of BMX skills from Team Extreme as reward for another great day of racing. 

Thursday 29th of July which was the fourth day of racing, began with broken cloud and winds of around 12-13 knots, and after one general recall the first of two scheduled races for the Senior gold fleet got underway.  

Once again it was young Spanish sailor Silvia Mas Depares who lead the way at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, winning both races. Callum Airlie is in prime position to become the top placed British entry and successfully defend his British National Championship title, finishing a close second in both races, with his nearest rival 13 year old Arran Holman securing a fourth and an eighth. 

15 year old Callum, who sails at East Lothian Yacht Club, which is a Volvo RYA Champion Club in recognition for its work in developing junior and youth racing, commented “The conditions today were a bit lighter than I would have liked, but I knew what to expect and I gave it my best shot.” 

This will be Callum’s final Optimist event before moving on to the 420 double handed dinghy with his brother Drew, and he has mixed feelings about leaving the Optimist class behind. " I don't know really how to feel, I suppose I am relieved to have done so well in my last event, but I have been sailing an Oppie for so long it's like it's an end of an era.” Callum went on to say, “Overall though it's good to be starting the 420 and I am really looking forward to the next big event, the 420 nationals. The Optimist class has been such a great experience for me, sailing is really the best sport and I doubt you can find a better feeling then when you are sailing well."
Published in Youth Sailing
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