Season finale – 23/24 March 2019

The season finale of the Two Harbour squad took place in glorious sunshine last week. Over the course of the winter 21 young sailors from Emsworth, Emsworth Slipper, Langstone, Felpham, Christchurch, Royal Victoria, Itchenor and Lancing Sailing Clubs have continued to hone their racing skills with the aim of doing more club and regional racing.

On Saturday the squad had two sessions on the water practising race starts, developing hovering skills and looking at the pros and cons of starboard and port starts. All this was great preparation for the next day’s racing and end of series ranking.

At the start of the weekend Tera Development Squad teammates, Will Soars (Christchurch Sailing Club) and Emsworth’s Toby Field, were neck and neck, with Will edging ahead after a discard. Joining the Sunday racing were five visiting sailors from Frensham Pond Sailing Club (part of a reciprocal arrangement where our squad sailors have joined their Saturday race training). Twenty six sailors were therefore jostling on the start line, giving the fleet experience of more crowded starts.

Although the wind was predominantly 10 knots from the north to northwest, frequent wind shifts made for interesting conditions. Those quick to spot this were able to exploit them and make gains. The first race saw Toby Field and Julian Wilcock in the top four, with good performances also from Ollie Bradshaw and Ben Haworth. The second race saw Conor Preston storm across the finish line in second place, with Ollie and Julian in fifth and sixth. Toby secured a second in the third race and Julian a fifth. The ebbing tide affected the final race causing a few problems when the wind also dropped at the windward mark, meaning sailors had the challenge of being swept onto it. The sessions on sailing rules came to the fore with some sailors having to take turns for not giving water or colliding with fellow competitors. After discards Toby finished in second place, Julian in fourth with the overall winner from the day’s racing being National squad sailor Olly Stratton-Brown (Frensham Sailing Club). The four back-to-back races meant it was possibly the longest time some of the squad’s less experienced racers had spent on the water and a good introduction to events like the Tera Nationals or Worlds.

Back in the clubhouse tension mounted as coaches worked out the series results, as well as the prizes for Most Improved Sailor and the Endeavour award. John Stokes (Felpham Sailing Club) won the Most Improved and Emsworth’s Georgie Stratton-Brown the Endeavour award. Georgie received this award for her attitude on the water – being determined to keep going no matter where she was in the fleet – and her perseverance will certainly reap rewards the more experienced she becomes. Ben Charlesworth and Ollie Bradshaw secured firsts in their racing sub-groups across the series. The overall series champions, Will Sears and Toby Field, were both equal on points, but on count back, Toby secured more firsts so pipped Will to the post receiving overall first and series champion. Julian Wilcocks, in the same group as Toby and Will, came third in the series, just two points behind the other two.

Tim Keeping gave out the prizes, and the Tera tradition of a speech from the winner led to Toby recognising the real stars of the day, all his fellow sailors! With coaches Vikki, Simon and Greg looking on, he did remember they taught him everything he knew, and thanked them for their effort and support.

So what next for our sailors and squad? With around 50 hours of coaching from some of the top coaches in the country, squad participants are race ready for the start of the sailing season. The RS Tera family is inclusive and friendly. Although racing is competitive, there is a genuine desire to ensure it remains fun for all. We certainly expect to see our squad sailors compete in the Tera Southern Traveller series, which includes ESC’s first Tera open.

Although coaches and organisers are now enjoying a well-deserved rest, there are plans to run the squad again for 2019/20. So if you think you have a Tera sailor who might not want to hibernate over next winter then seek us out at Emsworth. It only remains to thank all ESC members for their patience with our young sailors and for supporting us to get this off the ground. Looking at our Tera sailors I would say the future of sailing is looking bright with orange sails!

And finally, remember to support ESC Tera Open on 14 September!

Peggy Field




Smartphone users: if site does not display correctly, scroll down and click Desktop Version

Copyright © 2019 Emsworth Sailing Club.  All rights reserved.