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Chairman's Update

I would like to welcome John Perham as our new class administrator.  John started on the 18th May and will spend the next month or so familiarising himself with the class and how it works.  John's main remit is to act as a facilitator for the class, helping members run flotillas, events and training.  Updated contact details will be provided soon.  Good luck in the new role, John!

Mark Lyttle
IOCA Chairman
Optimist 4-boat
Team-Racing Championships


Please contact Cardiff Bay Yacht Club
for further information  Tel. 029 2066 6627
Cardiff Bay YC
23rd - 25th May 2015
Membership Volunteer Required

IOCA is in urgent need of a volunteer to assist with the processing of new membership applications and annual renewals.  If you can assist IOCA in this role, please contact
British Nationals T-Shirt Design Competition

How would you like to see your design on the 2015 Nationals T-shirt this year?

It can be as simple or as complicated as you like, though bold, bright designs often work best!  Need some inspiration?  The Regatta Fleet theme this year is 'Hawaiian'

Colours: Max 4 colours (plus black and white).  Please note that the T-shirt this year will be bright blue so designs need to work well with this colour.  You may also draw a design in black that we will print in white.

Size: A4

Please send your designs by email (preferably) to or by post to 5 Guildown Road, Guildford, GU2 4EW.

But hurry - closing date is 5pm Friday 12th June.
Don't forget to include your name, age and sailing club with your entry.
News & Reviews
2015 Volvo Gill Optimist Inland Championships
by Peter Saxton - Commodore Grafham Water Sailing Club

Looking back over recent Optimist Inlands, which have been held at Grafham for at least the last 12 years, there have been weekends of very little (or even no) wind, and weekends of gales.  But for 2015, we hit the jackpot and had a good mixture of winds from 12 knots to 27 knots, and typical inland-venue shifts.  The bigger sailors had their opportunities to power away, but the lighter weight sailors who could read the shifts also had plenty of opportunities to succeed.  What's more, there was a reasonable amount of sunshine, and the offshore wind on Sunday meant that spectators on the Clubhouse lawns could enjoy the spectacle without feeling the cold (too much!).

With around 280 visiting Optimists, 30 visiting ribs, and numerous campervans and tents, it's quite a travelling circus to set up, run six races and pack away in 48 hours, but the sailors, parents and volunteers all seemed to have a good time and we look forward to seeing you back again in 2016.
The Sailors get ready to launch....
Fuelling themselves full of energy and undertaking last minute boat checks and kit adjustments.
Then the racing is underway....
Whilst parents enjoy an Oppie Coffee.
Finally results are calculated and prizes awarded.
Congratulations to Drew Wright, the overall winner and 2015 Volvo Gill Optimist Inlands Champion, and Jamie Cook who came 3rd overall and won the junior Champion title.
The Eric Twiname Championships
by Tasmyn Green

I am 10 years old and I’ve been sailing an optimist for two years. I was thrilled when I got selected to represent Wales at the Eric Twinames along with 9 others. It was held at Rutland sailing club on 9/10th of May 2015.
On the Saturday morning there was a buzz of excitement around the place. There were a lot of zones including Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and different parts of England. We could hear Scottish bagpipes playing whilst we were rigging and it made for a great atmosphere and I was very excited.  [Note to self : Learn to play the Welsh Harp ready for next year]. There were lots of different classes of boats - Optimists, Toppers, Fevas, Lasers and all sizes of windsurfers.

It was quite windy with 20 knots gusting 35 at times, so the race committee postponed it till the afternoon, as it was forecasted to ease. So all the sailors split into teams to do some running games like British Bulldogs, catch the flag, a version of netball and ‘Splat’. The wind had dropped enough by 2pm and the Race Officer called us back to launch.
75 Optimists battled out to the start line at it was still howling and many boats were capsizing already! A chaotic start line and we were all eager to get going.  The race was quite tough and hard work sailing and bailing in the gusty wind. I was making good progress mid fleet until disaster stuck when I was hiking so hard I fell out of my boat! Some laser sailors were watching and it made them laugh to see me disappear from the boat :-) Even so, I managed to finish the race and didn’t come last. [Note to self : Keep the stick up in the air AND stay in the boat]. We were going to start another race but Race Officer decided to call it a day and we came in.

Then the real competition started in the early evening with the ‘Human Table Football’ with each zone submitting a team with some interesting team names, like the ‘Lincolnshire Sausages”! The knockout matches were fiercely fought and we had a lovely VE Day BBQ too.

Sunday was a slightly better day with 15 knots and still some gusts. We did three races which meant we could have a discard (no prizes for guess which one that was going to be!). It was hard work for the little sailors like me but I really enjoyed the event because of the good racing, I made some friends and the entertainment too.

South Zone won the event this year with Oliver Sturley winning the Optimist fleet. Well Done all.
2015 Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Championships

148 Sailors travelled to Poole at the end of March this year to compete in the Spring Championships, including a team of 12 sailors from Ireland.  However, sadly the wind gods were reluctant to co-operate despite all of the tremendous volunteering efforts and planning that had gone into this year's event from Chirs Evans (Spring Champs Event Co-ordinator) and his team.  Wild weather prevented sailing for most of the weekend with just one challenging race being squeezed in once a break in the weather appeared.  Congratulations to both Hattie Rogers and Arthur Fry, each coming first in their respective flights and sharing the Championship title.

Sailor's Profile:  Hattie Rogers 
2015 Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Joint-Champion
Hattie Rogers was introduced to sailing from a young age, aboard the family Contessa boats. At the age of five, she started Scow sailing with her father, invariably taking a left hand turn off the slip way, in the direction of the town quay and ice creams! Ten years later as an experienced, talented Optimist sailor she has now competed in over 20 international Optimist regattas in 10 countries and has won a number of prestigious trophies.

In 2008, aged 8 Hattie first began her Optimist sailing career as a member of The Salterns Sailing Club.  Also taking part in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s Wednesday Junior Sailing Programme; she made a mad dash from school to make the often oversubscribed 4-6pm slot. In summer she completed the RYA stage 1 Beginners course at Calshot Activities Centre with her cousins and competed in her first Oppie regatta, racing in the club’s ‘Family Youth Week’. At the end of the season she was awarded the Wednesday Junior Sailing’s ‘Volvo Trophy for ‘The Most Promising Newcomer’.

In 2010, Hattie was selected to join RYA South Zone Squad.  Within a further 12 months she had leap-frogged the RYA Intermediate Squad and made selection for the GBR National Squad and was the youngest National squad member at that time. Soon after she attended her first international regatta as part of the Junior GBR Irish Team in Ireland.

Now, aged 15, having completed 4 consecutive years of GBR National Squad Training and a list of GBR team selections, Hattie enters her final season before transitioning into the next dinghy class.  However, before looking ahead to new challenges and adventures in a double-hander, she describes this as “unfinished business in the Oppie’s. I want to finish what I started.” By this, Hattie is of course talking about her recent selection to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Pwllheli.  She explains that “The British team will be part of something really extraordinary, as it is the first time that an international Optimist event has taken place in the UK since 1969, when the Optimist World Championships were held in the UK.”

The European Championships 2015 is being hosted at a venue Hattie is very fond of- Pwllheli, North Wales.  It was here in 2012 at the British Optimist National Championships that Hattie attained her first major achievement when she became the Junior Girl National Champion. The following year at the same event, she achieved Senior Girl National Champion in Largs, Scotland.

IOCA would like to wish Hattie the best of luck for potentially making it a double this summer, by qualifying for an international trophy at Pwllheli again, at the 2015 European Optimist Championships.
Name:   Hattie Rogers
Age:   15
Sail Number:   GBR 6275
Home Sailing Club:   Royal Lymington YC
Squad:   GBR Optimist National Squad 2011 – 2015
Started Sailing Oppie’s:   Age 8 at the Royal Lymington’s Yacht Club ’Wednesday Junior Sailing’ and The Salterns Sailing Club
Most Memorable Race:   Coming 1st in the last race of the Bermuda Gold Cup, known at the Harbour Race (Oct 2013).  It was unbelievably special because all of the World’s top match racers were watching, including Ben Ainslie, Ian Percy and Catflap (Matt Cornwall) as well as hundreds of spectators.  It was the race before their Argo Gold Cup finals!
Favourite thing about sailing Oppie’s:   The competitiveness in large fleets, the social side and particularly meeting so many new friends from all over the World.
Best day out sailing:   In 2010, led by George Heathcote and supported by my Dad, I embarked on a truly amazing Jurassic Expedition with a bunch of family and close friends totalling 10 Oppie sailors.  Starting in Lymington, we sailed and trained for 5 full days, camping each night and heading to Weymouth, arriving just in time for the 2010 British Nationals.  It was a once in a lifetime experience and the expedition was even filmed for French National TV.
Worst day out sailing / most embarrassing moment:   My most embarrassing moment has to be at the GB Team Selection Trials in 2013 in Weymouth on the final day.  Plagued with no wind and a fog bank, we were held ashore on the slip way ready to launch.  Positioned just 2 points off selection for the Europeans team, I was like a ‘loaded gun’.  The boys got together, blew a whistle (which usually signalled “launch”) and I was gone!  Only to discover that I was the only one who had launched and no official launch had been signalled.  It was really funny, but also really hard because no further racing took place and the event ended with me being so, so close to selection!
Favourite place to sail:   In the UK, Pwllheli & Lymington.  Internationally – Brassemermeer (Netherlands) and Bermuda.
My heroes:   Ben Ainslie, Ian Percy, Bart Simpson, Catflap (Matt Cornwall), Nick Rogers, Sam Davies, Pippa Wilson, are all amazing role models based on what incredible things they have achieved in their sailing careers, but for me my parents are my greatest role models for lots of reasons.
Other hobbies:   All sport but particularly hockey. I made the Hampshire County hockey squad from 2011 – 2014.
Sailing Dream:    To do well at the Europeans, attain a place in Youth Squads next year….and of course to win the Round Island Race in a Contessa 26 with my Dad would be absolutely amazing!
Oppie Tips & Tricks which you want to pass on:   The “Reset Button”.  Understand that things don’t always go as planned and you have to be able to adapt your game plan instantly and re-set as quickly as possible.
Transitioning plans:  Right now I am fully focused on the European Championships in July.  Beyond that I have my GCSE’s next year and in that time I hope to be happy and really settled in a double-handed dinghy with a new partner, with Youth Squads as our target.  I have sailed the 420 briefly which was fun, but I will be trying out different options, including the 29er after the Nationals.  I’m looking forward to a bigger boat, more speed and sailing with a partner where experiences, knowledge and learning can be shared. I will miss all my coaches who have been an amazing inspiration for 7 years, and the family, fun environment, which goes from Regatta all the way up to Main Fleet. I’ll really miss my little Oppie itself.
Final message:   I would like to give a special thanks to Alan Williams (Head National Coach) for putting up with me in the National Squad for 4 years.  Also to the RYA for their amazing support, Versadock my main sponsor, who has made my competitive sailing possible for the last 2 years and to Harken who supplied me with kit and boat equipment.  Thank you also to Sports Aid and HTAS (Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme) for their generous grants.  Finally, besides my parents, my little brother Tom for being sooo supportive for sooo long.
Hints &Tips
Keeping Your Feet Dry

Emily Cann shows us how to keep your feet relatively dry when wearing a wetsuit.  Just tuck your boots under your wetsuit legs and most of the water simply runs off.
Remember to Check, Clean & Dry

Did you know that one adult Quagga Mussel can produce up to one million larvae in a year? And that’s just one of the reasons why it’s so important for all dinghy sailors follow ‘Check Clean Dry’ to stop the spread of this and other alien species around the UK’s freshwater sailing venues?
The Quagga Mussel comes from the south-east corner Europe and was discovered in Wraysbury Reservoir and Wraysbury River in 2014. Along with other species such as the Zebra Mussel and Killer Shrimp, it is highly invasive and can cause immense damage to the environment, from clogging up water treatment equipment and outcompeting native species for food to encrusting sailing equipment and propellers of RIBs and tenders.

Non-native species are species that have established themselves outside of their normal range. The most likely way the species arrive in the UK is in ship ballast water, on hull fouling, through aquaculture escapes or the plant and animal import trade. Once in the UK, recreational boating, including the dinghy racing circuits, can provide a secondary means for a species to spread into new water bodies.

Eradication of most invasive species is extremely difficult which is why The Green Blue – the joint environment project of the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine Federation - is urging all boaters to follow the Check Clean Dry routine.

•    Check equipment and clothing for live organisms – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect before moving to a new location.

•    Use clean water to thoroughly hose down all parts of the boat, launching trolley, trailer and equipment that come into contact with the water before leaving the site. Remember to get into the nooks and crannies, such as tyre treads.
•    Drain water from every part of the boat and all equipment that can hold water.  
•    Soak equipment and clothing in hot water on site or when you return home as this will improve the chances of killing adults and microscopic larvae which are invisible to the eye.

•    When you get home, let the boat and sails dry out for as long as possible. Also dry clothing, footwear and buoyancy aids – some species can survive for up to two weeks in damp conditions!

And don’t forget that invasive species can get into RIB and safety boat engines so follow Check Clean Dry as above but also flush the engine with clean fresh water before leaving the site using appropriate equipment, flush muffs or in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations; and allow the water to drain completely from the engine in a vertical down position.
How to identify a Quagga Mussel

Quagga Mussels are small (no more than 4cm across) with a dark brown and light brown stripy shell. When placed on its front it will roll to one side and it has an undulating (as opposed to a straight, horizontal) seam between the shells.
If you think you may have found a Quagga Mussel, send an email with a photograph and location details to:
To find out more visit

Our Sponsors and Partners

Volvo Car UK are thrilled to be supporting another year of Optimist Events.  We hope that last year's Inlands winners enjoyed driving the brand new Volvo XC90's to this year's Inlands.  Good luck to everyone competing at all of the forthcoming events this season, we hope this year will be another successful summer of sailing.
GILL are proud to be the Title Sponsor of the Optimist Class for the fifth consecutive year.

Exclusive 15% Discount on all Gill Online Purchases

Simply enter IOCA15 at the Checkout when purchasing products online at
We will have charter boats at the Nationals in Pwllheli in July and we will be offering these for sale after the event.  The boats are Blueblue with Blackgold spars, epoxy foils, trolley, top cover, all ropes and bailers, etc.  The boats are priced at £1995 until the 10th June and then £2495 after that date.
Peter Newton will be taking photos on the water at many of the IOCA Championship events and the photos will be available to view and order at these events.

For all the latest information check out:

For additional enquiries, please contact or

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