Op-eNews: the bi-monthly newsletter from IOCA (UK)

Welcome to Op-eNews

The new bi-monthly, newsletter from IOCA (UK).
Issue 3: April/May 2013

From the Committee

Chairman’s Update

Spring is finally here!  This winter really must have been the toughest I can remember and certainly the wettest.  If you have been sailing over the winter at your clubs, IOCA training, RYA Zone Squads or in the IOCA/RYA Winter squads please pat yourself on the back!  Well done to all the parents, coaches and volunteers for making the winter training the most successful to date, numbers are up and the quality of training this winter has been first class. Particular thanks goes to Alan Williams, Will Burdell and Duncan West as our lead coaches for National, Intermediate and Development Squads respectively, for organising such high quality training in sometimes very challenging conditions.

Over 10% of the class travelled overseas to International events during April, much of which has been supported by the RYA which makes these events possible, and the results have been outstanding.  In Brass over Easter, Will Hall lead the GBR charge with 4th overall and the GBR team won overall.  In Garda, Max Clapp was top Brit in second overall which I believe is the high place achieved ever by a GBR sailor and Jenny Cropley was our top girl and many of our top sailors were well up the ranking.  OptiSpring has just finished in Port Zeeland, Holland and GBR won the team prize with  David La Brouche 1st, Milo Gill-Taylor 2nd on count back and Max Clapp 5th. Vita Heathcote was 1st Junior. GBR are really making an impact on the International Optimist circuit, proving that all the hard work is paying off!  Well done everyone.

So whilst all the training and international events have been going on I pleased to announce that IOCA and Pwllheli Sailing Club have been planning our own UK based International event.  We have spent the last four months preparing our bid for the 2015 Optimist World Championships.  This really is very exciting as the UK has not held an Optimist Worlds since, believe it or not, 1969!  If we are selected at the IODA AGM in Garda this year there will be a huge opportunity for the class to promote itself Nationally and a fantastic experience for our team to sail on home waters against the best in the World.  I will keep you all informed of progress in the coming months but to date we are only aware of South Africa bidding too, so there is a good chance of success.  Many thanks to David Baddeley for heading up this bid and the rest of the team for their time and effort and late night Telco’s!!

On the domestic front we have the Selections and Inlands next on the calender which will both be fantastic events.  The Selections is full with 80 entries and will be run in Weymouth over the May Bank holiday. Good luck to all the sailors and try and enjoy it, even if you are not selected for a team it is a really high quality event and you will learn a lot.

The Inlands entry is building fast too and marks the start of the new ranking series for 2013-14 Winter squads.  If you have not been to one of our major events before the Inlands really is a great place to start. We have a strong regatta fleet for those starting out and the main fleet racing is the best you will find in the UK.  We have noticed that with all our events the entries are coming in later and later.  If you are planning on coming to the Inlands it would make a big difference to IOCA if you could sign up as soon as possible, so we can confirm numbers with the venue as early as we can.

We have several vacancies coming up this year on the IOCA Main Committee and they include, Treasurer, International Teams, Technical, Sailing Secretary and Vice Chairman.  The other role holds are happy to stay on but if you are interested in any role it always comes down to a vote at the AGM.  My biggest concern is for a new Treasurer as Ian Jarman having streamlined our accounts from top to bottom is standing down and he needs to start handing over to someone asap.  There is no requirement to be an accountant but some business experience is useful and clearly one needs to be good with numbers!!  Please contact me or Sharon if any of these roles are of interest.

That’s all from me till the next update and you will be pleased to hear we have booked good weather for the rest of the IOCA calender this year and I look forward to seeing you all out there on the water!

Good sailing!

Simon Rogers, IOCA Chairman
Making the most of the postponement at the Selections
Membership Matters
If you have not already done so, please renew your 2013 IOCA Membership using the button above
Want to find out more about the class? 
Interested in helping on the committee or one of the sub-committees?
We'd love to here from you!

Dates for Your Diary

Buttons below take you straight to the event website (opens new window)
Inland Championships ..... 18/19 May 2013
Forgotten to enter?  Don't panic! 
Send an email to admin@optimist.org.uk before Tuesday 14th May 2013.
Late payment fees will apply.
National Championships .... 27 Jul - 2 Aug 2013
If you have not already done so, please enter the National Championships as soon as possible. 
The option to pay by instalments is available until 14th May 2013.
With no racing on day 4 of Selection Trials at WPNSA due to fog and little wind, the teams were decided based on the results after 12 races.
2013 Worlds Team
Max Clapp, Milo Gill-Taylor, Robbie King, David LaBrouche, Benno Marstaller. Coach: Alan Williams / HouseParent: Jen Williams
2013 Europeans Team
Jenny Cropley, Iago Davies, Huw Edwards, Will Hall, Vita Heathcote, Alex Platt, Jemma Viney.  Coach: Vagelis Atzemian / HouseParent: Imogen Stanley
2013 Development Team
Pippa Cropley, Alex King, Julia Mellers, Hatty Morsley, Gethin Owen, Hattie Rogers, Haydn Sewell, Hamish Taylor. Coach: Matt Rainback / HouseParent: Holly Jones
2013 Flanders Team
Ella Bennett, Millie Boyle, Charlotte Boyle, Arthur Brown, Jamie Harris, Josh Haynes, Alex Smallwood, Rosie Williamson. Coach: Robbie Burns
An excellent weekend of racing in a variety of conditions.

 It's been nearly 45 years since the Optimist World Championships were held in the UK. So...

IOCA(UK) in collaboration with Pwllheli Sailing Club are bidding to bring the 2015 Optimist World Championships back to Great Britain.

Please support our bid by visiting the
Optimist Worlds 2015 Bid Website, Liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Inlands Info
Nationals News

Regatta Fleet
Please sign up

To all regatta fleet parents, if you already know you will be going to the Inlands or Nationals, please enter your sailors now.  It takes quite a bit of time to find coaches, ribs etc, and our job is much easier if we have a rough idea of how many sailors are coming.  So if you know you are definitely coming, please sign up now to help us put together the best events for your sailors.

Nationals Regatta Fleet
Info Session

For parents of sailors who have entered, or are thinking of entering, the regatta fleet at the Nationals in July there will by an Information Session at the Inlands

GWSC - Upstairs Bar
Sunday 19th May 

News and Reviews

Letter From Arran 

Writing this I am finding it hard to believe that it was 5 years ago when I first joined IOCA in order to compete in my first Inland championships at Grafham. The years seem to have rushed by but looking back has made me realise what a great time I have had.
So what I have got out of oppies?
I have had some racing successes, I have won the Nationals championships, been runner up twice and come out on top in half of our national events in the last 3 years.  I have travelled to most of Europe, to Malaysia and the Caribbean I have competed against some really good sailors, learnt a lot from them, always found the time to get involved with the places I have visited and never spent a fortune.  I have met some lovely people, not just sailors but also parents, officials and guys that are just doing their jobs, at times it’s been colourful but mostly people have been very kind and I really feel I have seen a lot of life.
What I have learnt?
That you can always sail faster or better than you do. At that first Inlands I found that letting off just half an inch of outhaul would allow me to power through the chop instead of being slowed by it. This took me from 150th on the first day to 50th on the second and made me realise that you never have to accept where you are in the fleet. 

That the more you put in, the more you will get out, sure a bit of talent and some decent kit helps but in sailing and for that matter at school as well nothing will beat hard work if you want to do well.

That you should never disregard the value of club racing. I have learnt more about dingy racing from the old duffers at our club in their Solo’s and Wayfarers than I ever thought there was to know. That it’s great to learn from good coaches but that you only have to be taught a skill once or twice and then its down to you to practice it a thousand times before you ask if you are getting the hang of it.
And so from me, for my time in Oppies, a big thank you.
To all those IOCA committee members both past and present, to staff members and all the event volunteers who’s often unappreciated efforts make this class so successful.  To Mike Pickering and Gul for all their support. Sailing clothing might not make you win events but I am pretty sure that having the right kit can stop you losing them.  To North Sails for always providing me with the right tyres for the track and in particular to Rob Wilson for the great advice I have been able to get from a really top sailor.  To Steve Norbury and Seldon for the use of their magic new spars.  To Charles Ainsworth at IBI sailing for always giving out his best advice regardless of whether you are buying or not.  To Leicestershire County Council’s ‘Go Gold’ talented athlete fund for their continuing help in keeping our costs down.
What does the future hold for me?
Well next year I am going to be sailing Cadets to learn double handed skills and Toppers for their friendly, competitive big fleet racing. Why not a 420? Well partly because I am still light enough to be competitive in an Oppie and partly because this is my GCSE year and I want to make sure of doing well

My final tip to parents and sailors?
Please remember that this sailing lark is all just a somewhat expensive game of Poo-sticks, so don’t forget to play and always be sure you make the most of everything around
you. There will only ever be one World champion but if you treat it right everyone can have a really great time.

I hope you enjoy your time in Optimists as much as I have.

Best Wishes, ARRAN

Fancy Trialling some Gill KIt?

We are looking for some active Optimist Sailors of any ability who would be interested in testing some Gill Kit.
The testers will need to write a short review about what they thought of the kit and complete a feedback form for Gill. In return they'll get to keep the kit they've tested!

If you're interested, please send a note to admin@optimist.org.uk with the item you'd like to test, an explanation of why you'd be a good tester (about 50 words) your name, age and sailing club. If you're selected Gill will be in touch to arrange delivery.

This issue's trial items are:

7671J_Junior Neoprene Winter Gloves
906J_Junior Hiking Boots
4421J_Junior UV Sport Rash Vest
4916J_Junior Pro Racer Buoyancy Aid

History of the Brish Nationals - Senior Fleet Trophy

Awarded to the highest placed British competitor with the lowest points total in the prescribed number of races.
Made and presented by George Martin in 1969

George's grandson John Berry recently contacted IOCA and sent us this report about the trophy
"My grandfather, George Martin, built my first Oppie 443 in the garage in London when I was 12, some 45 years ago now!!!!
After building the boat he decided to make a model, from the drawings, at a 1/8” scale for me.
I attended a training week at Salterns I think it was in Lymington, not sure of the year now too long ago!, in the days of Cmdr. Brown and John Taylor and the model was used to discuss and demonstrate handling in the camp before going afloat. From this my Grandfather was persuaded to make a cased model for the national’s as well as a second which was presented by Lady Barbara at the 1968 Worlds which were held at Stokes Bay.
Tim won the nationals three times in succession and wanted to keep the trophy so my Grandfather was talked into building one more just for Tim.
I still have mine on the shelf, don’t know if Tim still has his!  I suspect that 443 is long gone by now!!!!
Regards, John Berry"
Fleets and Flotillas


by Luissa Smith
Chichester Yacht Club (CYC) kick started its season for young sailors with a week-long training camp for sailors racing in Optimists. Running from 8-12 April, around 20 youngsters aged from 7-13 years old, were trained by three energetic and expert coaches – with a focus on race training, but most importantly fun. CYC and harbour club sailors were joined by youngsters from further afield, including Jersey.
The focus was to bring new racers and the more experienced racers together, and develop and improve their sailing skills ready for the summer season. Most importantly the camp aimed to enthuse everyone and forge social friendships between youngsters, with an overriding emphasis on fun – so the week was packed with entertaining activities both on and off the water.
Three days of focused race training on Monday-Wednesday, a sail away to Itchenor on Thursday and the final day regatta on Friday, were summed up by ten year old Beatrix Wright, who said, “I came away feeling epic, and had a really fun time!”
Sailors were split into ability groups for the on water training and shoreside briefings, and were in different teams to mix them all up for other activities. Points could be scored for best joke of the day, capsize of the day, race finish of the day etc – so the camp was not all about who was fastest around the race course.
Well done to team 'Funky Seaweed' who were the weeks winners!

Volunteer parent Rosie Berry who is responsible for the Optimist Training at CYC, said, “For our first ever week long Optimist training camp, we couldn’t have wished for a better week. A diverse range of weather conditions really put the sailors through their paces. The general consensus was same time, same place, next year!”

Special thanks to Rooster Sailing, who offered a discount on sailing clothing, local chandlery IBI Sailing who provided daily prizes and discounted kit during the week, the Royal Yachting Association who gave a neck buff to each participant and the UK Optimist Class who provided a range of hats, wallets and stickers. A signed print by Great Britain’s four-time Olympic Gold medallist sailor Ben Ainslie, donated by the UK Optimist Class, was presented as a special memento to Eliza South, who at aged 7 years old was the youngest sailor at the camp.

For more information on Optimist training programme available at Chichester Yacht Club, visit: www.cycdinghies.co.uk

The  Inaugural Marité Regatta

This past week-end, a beautiful, wooden 3 master called " le Marité" travelled from Granville, France to Jersey with some interesting cargo.  It was laiden with Optimists & Lasers and their sailors!  The French had challenged the sailors from St Catherine‘s Sailing Club to a regatta as part of the twinning celebrations between St Brelade, a parish in Jersey, and Granville, France.  So once the French unloaded their boats - rigged and ready to go - the challenge took place in St Aubins Bay, in light but very shifty winds. After the sailing, all sailors were invited onto le Marité for crepes saucisses, and were entertained by music and singing in French and Jerriaise, and then the results were announced.  Jersey claimed victory in the laser class, and the Jersey optimists did not let the team down!  David Raimbault won the optimist class, and thus Jersey won the inaugural Marité Trophy and are looking forward to a rematch in Granville next year!
 Angela Raimbault


On Sunday 14th April the forecast predicted winds of 24mph, gusting up to 45 mph and the IOCA race training camp in North Wales had to be cancelled. I felt like a dead fish.....gutted!!! However lOCA had a plan B.... a land training day! “Oh” I thought, “That's what we do before swimming club and it involves stretching, press ups, and sit ups. Ummmm, sounds like hard work for a whole day!”

So, when we reached the conference room in The Bulkeley Hotel, Beaumaris,I was astonished!! There were sweets, chocolates and an oppi! “There was hope!”

Sarah Williams started the day talking about the rigging and the sitting position in the oppi and slight changes to help you go faster. Next, was a knot tying session, including the reef knot, bowline and a round turn and two half hitches. We had a race for the fastest bowline with a prize which helped us all try a bit harder! Next was a sailing quiz which my team won.

Finally, the best bit of the day was designing and building our own boats out of bottles, sellotape, bamboo sticks and some cloth. We went outside to the boating pool and sailed our boats. The wind was atrocious. My sail blew off as soon as we went out and it was the first to capsize!

Others made boats without sails, sensible given the weather conditions, but cheating!!

Prizes were given for the boat that was not demolished by the wind, the
coolest looking boat and the fastest boat.

I had a great day and learnt loads.........Thanks IOCA!

Tyler Green, age 10

West Wales Optimist Flotilla News

by Sian May

The sailing season may just be beginning with the launch of the boats in Tenby harbour but some of our junior sailors have been training hard all winter. Hollie MacDonald from Tenby had a place in the south and west regional squad and attained a 4th place in the silver fleet at the end of winter training regatta at TATA and Lydia Edwards from Teifi also in regional squad gained an 8th in the silver fleet. Deryn May from Tenby who has been in the Welsh Oppie squad and the GBR development squad over the winter was selected as one of 30 sailors to take part in Braassemeer Easter regatta in Holland where GBR won the best team and Deryn came tenth in the Bronze fleet, sailing in snow, ice and cold easterly winds. It was the first international event any of our west oppies have attended (since Edward Dashfield was in oppies) and luckily the winter training in cold conditions helped us survive the sub zero camping.

Deryn’s navigational skills also helped her mother through the tricky issue of driving on the right and locating hard to find Dutch lakes!!

We look forward to hearing how our west oppies do in the welsh youth and junior champs in Pwllheli at the end of April and at the nationals at Largs in August. They are all inspired by Ellie Meophams success in lasers. Hopefully some more local sailors will take the opportunity to partake in winter training next year and gain similar opportunities. We had a fleet of 9 oppies last summer and we are hopefully getting a double trailer to enable sailors to attend more events. Thanks to Kelly Mayhew and the Neyland coaches and to Chris Jeffries (Jaffa) for their winter support of our sailors. Also to Nick Sawyer and Kate and Sarah Williams and Ollie Green for the welsh squad coaching and to Duncan West and Aaron Smith for Development squad training. Go team west.

The Mellers demonstrating the perfect "Braass Loading Technique".
Our Sponsors & Partners

Gill are offering 25% off the entire Junior range.  Offer available exclusively online at gillmarine.com from 6th May until 16th June 2013. Simply enter the code OPINDS13 at the checkout.

Win a Vovo for the Inlands

WIN an XC60 for the Volvo Gill Optimist Inland Championships 18th & 19th May.

Enter here now

On Android or iOS click here
For all the latest information check out:

Issue 4 : June 2013

Post-Inlands, Pre-Nationals Issue.

Please send feedback, suggestions, articles, photos etc to
admin@optimist.org.uk or development@optimist.org.uk

Issue 3: Many apologies for the delay, Easter and Spring have been really busy!
Copyright © 2013 IOCA (UK), All rights reserved.