On the weekend of 9/10 November, Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy hosted the 29er Ovington Championships. A range of conditions tested the sailors in being able to adapt over the weekend, with the more rounded sailors gaining the top places.
Saturday began wet, cold and blowing well above 20 knots. Some might say miserable! But the 29er fleet got away off the start all clear. 2816 (Rupert and Henry Jameson) took an early lead, however the top of the beat proved to be extremely shifty and 315 (Monique Vennis-Ozanne and Fin Armstrong) managed to gain the lead. As the leaders sailed down the run, a huge rain squall battered the fleet, creating incredibly poor visibility. However, 315 took the win, with 2898 (Aled Llewellyn-Jones and Ben Bradley) sneaking into 2nd.
As the wind shifted round to the NNW it dropped a tad and the sun even began to make a slight appearance. Race 2 got underway, however the new conditions tested some of the previous leaders, other than 315 who went on to take another win, with the new pairing 2905 (Elodie Edwards and Ewan Wilson) coming in to take 2nd.
Race 3 saw 2929 (Tom Storey and Ben Willlet) being denied their race win after being a tad keen at the start line. This let 2235 (Will Pank and Seb Gotto) in to take 1st, with 315 coming in 2nd.
Race 4 was decided by the cloud lingering over the left hand side of the course, which was well spotted by 2816 who then took the win, 315 grabbing 2nd and 2929 in at 3rd.
So, after day one 315 (Monique and Fin) took a commanding lead as the others found it hard to stay consistent. 2235 was in at 2nd and 2816 3rd overnight. On Saturday night, the sailors socialised over a lovely Italian - a great chance for new members of the class to get to know some new people and for others to meet up with friends.
Sunday morning once again brought a fresh breeze from the NE, not increasing the temperature at all! Race 5 saw some new leaders 2811 (Ollie Evans and Louis Johnson) showing their speed in the breezier conditions to bag first, 2898 2nd and 315 3rd.
Race 6 saw the left hand side to be dominant and 315 regained dominance grabbing another 1st, 2816 scoring an important 2nd and another new pairing entering the top 3, 2915 (George Vincent and Will Adler) snatched 3rd.
Starboard end of the start payed in race 7. With 2929 taking advantage of this they then had the boat speed to get to the gain feature on the left as well, setting them up well. 2929 took the race win, 315 2nd and 2811 in at 3rd after a few boats were rather keen on the start line.
The final race of the weekend was incredibly important with the points so tight in the top 6, 315 finished their weekend as they started with yet another win, 2929 gaining an important 2nd and 2905 came back on the 2nd beat to grab 3rd.
Overall, the more consistent teams shone through in the range of wind conditions. It was a great opportunity to sail at our 2020 Worlds venue, gaining more experience of the venue.
Congratulations to 315 (Monique/Fin) winning with a dominant performance overall and 1st mixed. 2816 (Rupert/Henry) were second overall and 2811 (Ollie/Louis) 3rd overall. First girls were 2849 (Annie Hammett/Jess Jobson), 2nd girls 2292 (Sian Talbot/Maddie Bristow) shortly followed by 3rd girls 2234 (Emily Mueller/Flo Brellisford). 2nd Mixed were 2905 (Elodie/Ewan), with 2695 (Flo Peters/Freddy Wood) in 3rd. 1st juniors were 2700 (Sam Jones/Leo Wilkinson, followed by 2222 (Robin Stein/Sam Brackley) and 3rd juniors went to 1510 (Phoebe Peters/Raulf Berry).
Thanks must go to the PRO David Campbell-James and everyone who helped put together another fantastic event. Many thanks to Ovingtons for sponsoring our event with great prizes. Hope to see many of you at the next event, GP3 at Rutland!