UK rankings rise after William's Optimist win
9:02am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
CARDIFF Bay sailors, including a number from Penarth, have produced a series of impressive performances at the last major event of the Optimist sailing calendar.
The aptly named 'End of Seasons' event took place on Rutland Water and, the third of three UK ranking events, it involved over 240 sailors aged six to 14 from across the UK.
The two-day event started in blustery conditions which rapidly dropped to almost nothing, with the result that only two races took place on the first day. It was certainly different on the second day, with wind speeds of 15 gusting to 25 knots coupled with driving rain which made for very challenging conditions especially for the younger and lighter sailors who spent almost seven continuous hours on the water completing a further four races. This means they have to drink and eat in their boats whilst battling against their competitors and the elements.
The Cardiff Bay club, now renowned for its young sailors, had over 20 entries in both the main and regatta fleets. The exciting event went down to the sixth and last race in which William Hall, of Stanwell School, was triumphant to win the overall event and become the IOCA 'End of Season' champion. As a result, William moved up to third overall in the UK rankings for the year.
Rhys Lewis, also of Stanwell, finished close behind in eighth place to secure the top junior award for the second year running. Rhys has also had a very successful year and is now ranked fifth in the UK. It was almost a clean sweep for Cardiff Bay ,with Jamie Cook (Evenlode Primary) finishing 52nd and being the top 10 year old.
Other notable performances included: 26, Huw Nunn; 45, Hannah Roberts-Straw; 60, Oliver Reynolds; 62, Sam Kneale; 68, Rhys William; 80, Mila Monaghan; 89, Felicity Allen; 91, Matthew Leary; 99, Erin Pearce; 149, Alice Reynolds; 150, Emily Hall; 155, Maddie Leary ; 160, Alex Lewis; 192, Emily Cann; 194, Ethan Kneale; 199, Rhianwen Williams; 202, Ellie Thomas. William Martin also worked hard in the regatta fleet and completed all eight races to finish 22nd.
A clubs pokesman said: "This has been a great year for the Cardiff sailors who have also competed in numerous international events in Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Hungary, France and Italy.
"The club looks very well positioned with a great crop of young sailors who all hope to emulate Sir Ben Ainslie who, of course, started his sailing career in the humble Optimist dinghy."