Volvo Musto Open National Optimist Championships
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
28/07/2007 - 03/08/2007

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2018 Volvo Gill Optimist Late Summer Championships
Poole Yacht Club
01/09/2018 - 02/09/2018


Prime Minister visits final day of the Optimist Nationals

The final day of racing at the Volvo Musto Optimist Nationals saw the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown visit the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, while the young sailors finished off their week long regatta, with three races today.

Mr Brown commented, “What is fantastic, are the plans for here and the Olympics. It is the first Olympic facility up and running, with people already training here and the legacy will go on for years after that. So more young children will go sailing and more children from schools all over the country will also. We have already done so well in Olympic sailing and carry on doing so. I am very confident with the young people and facilities down here, this will be a sport we will be able to carry on excelling in.”

London 2012 Chairman, Sebastian Coe, accompanied the Prime Minister, whilst he toured the facilities and was introduced to young sailors and the spectators at the Optimist Nationals. The youngsters showed him around an Optimist dinghy, explaining why the 2.3 meter boat is the most popular youth class dinghy across the globe and has groomed some of the UK’s most successful sailors, including triple Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie.

Alex Mothersele (15) from Emsworth, Hampshire fought off strong competition in the senior fleet all week, in the form of Spanish sailor, Eric Plancon (14), to win the event with two points spare. Top female, American Sarah Williams (13) just pipped her team-mate Alex Curtis (13) to third place today, with a second, ninth and eleventh. Unfortunately for Curtiss, after his first place in the first race of the day, he was over the start line in the second.

The junior fleet has been dominated all week by Team USA, but it was change at the top on the final day, with Hunter Johnstone (12) from Chicago regaining poll position. Clay Danly (12) was only one point behind Johnstone, with friend Duncan Williford (12) in third place. . United Arab Emirates sailor, Oliver Grogono (11) finished in fourth, with first Brit, Scott Wallis (11) from Hampshire, jumping into fifth position today.

The regatta fleet managed to fit in 14 races this week, to help teach the 105 youngsters how to race their dinghies in big fleets. Ben Waha (11) from Hampshire won with 18 points between him and his nearest rival, finishing off his week with a first and a second place. Joe Girling (11) from Norfolk was second, with Joseph Burns (10) from Hampshire taking third.

Overall Results:

Senior Fleet
1 - Alex Mothersele GBR - 28 points
2 - Eric Plancon ESP - 45 points
3 - Sarah Williams USA - 50 points
4 - Alex Curtis USA - 56 points
5 – David Grant GBR - 57 points

Junior Fleet
1 - Hunter Johnstone USA - 16 points
2 - Clay Danly USA - 17 points
3 - Duncan Williford USA - 18 points
4 - Oliver Grogono UAE - 28 points
5 – Scott Wallis GBR - 30 points

Regatta fleet
1 - Benjamin Waha GBR – 16 points
2 – Joe Girling – GBR – 34 points
3 - Joseph Burns GBR – 37 points
4 - William Massey GBR – 40 points
5 - Daniel Whitley GBR – 57 points   

Day 4 - Light conditions prove tricky

Day four of the Volvo Musto Optimist National Championships saw fluky and light breeze plague the fleets. An overcast day started with a promising light westerly breeze of eight knots, providing good conditions early on, before the wind dropped completely meaning the main fleet competitors could manage only one race.

For the second day in a row the smaller sailors fared better than their heavier counterparts, with Alex Mothersele (15) continuing his good form in the senior fleet winning his race. Mothersele does have a rival to contend with in the shape of Eric Plancon (14) from Spain, who finished just behind him in second place and due to a discard ruling now lies two points away from the lead. Plancon is really enjoying himself saying “I am having so much fun at the British Nationals, I am competing really well I have met friends from all over the world and I am in strong contention for a podium finish.”

Both junior and senior fleets had to wait three hours out in Portland Harbour, before racing was finally abandoned. Their spirits were kept high by the coaches, who put them through their paces with training games and fun sing-alongs. Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Manager outlined the importance of the national’s event, “Events like the Optimist Nationals are a key feeder for our Olympic programme, many of the future UK champions will come out of Championships like these.”

In the junior fleet it was all change with Clay Danly (12) leap-frogging his two American counterparts from third to first place. Second place was kept by Hunter Johnstone (13), while Duncan Williford (12) dropped to third only one point behind the leaders. First Brit in the junior fleet, Scott Wallis (11) kept hold of his fifth position and is now only one point behind his Dutch rival Niels Broekhuizen (12). With winds looking to be stronger tomorrow, the sailors are all looking to peak their performance on the last and deciding day.

The regatta fleet took advantage of the light conditions by having an away day on a local beach where they were treated to fun and games by their coaches. Mike Haynes, Race Officer for the regatta fleet stated “The regatta fleet have been really great this week. All credit must go to their local clubs and coaches, who have set them up with the skills to come here and have a good time sailing. They have always had smiles on their faces and coped with everything we have put them up against race and weather condition wise.”

Results after Day 4:

Senior Fleet
1 - Alex Mothersele GBR - 18 Points
2 - Eric Plancon ESP - 20 Points
3 - Alex Curtis USA - 28 Points
4 - Sarah Williams USA - 29 Points
5 - Tracy Doherty USA - 34 Points

Junior Fleet
1 - Clay Danly USA - 13 Points
2 - Hunter Johnstone USA - 13 Points
3 - Duncan Williford USA - 14 Points
4 - Oliver Grogono UAE - 20 Points
5 - Niels Broekhuizen NED - 25 Points

Regatta fleet
1 - Benjamin WAHA GBR – 11 points
2 - Joseph BURNS GBR – 23 points
3 - William MASSEY GBR – 25 points
4 - Joe GIRLING GBR – 26 points
5 - Daniel WHITELEY GBR – 41 points   

Day 3- British top the Seniors

Young sailor, Alex Mothersele (15) from Hampshire has moved up from sixth to first position at the end of day three, after posting a fifth and second in the two races. The leader board has shifted around as both the senior and junior fleets have finished six races, allowing the sailors to discard their worst result from the past three days. This has also allowed Team America to dominate the top three places in the junior fleet.

The conditions in Weymouth Bay were not quite as “perfect” as the previous days with the breeze dying in the late afternoon, making the racing difficult. “It was very shifty out there, making it hard to know which side of the race course was the right one to choose. But I like it in the light breeze as I think the UK sailors are better in these conditions. It looks like it will be like this for the rest of the week,” said Jamie Diamond (12), who is currently eighth in the junior fleet.

Hunter Johnstone (12), from America is still leading the pack in the junior fleet, with his team-mates, Duncan Williford (12) and Clay Danly (12) following consecutively. The American team all live in Chicago, US where they get to train on both Lake Michigan and more sheltered inland lakes. “You really have to be focussed when sailing out here in the harbour and pay attention to the shifts. You can gain and lose a lot in a short amount of time,’ said fleet leader Johnstone.

In the senior fleet Alex Mothersele fights off the International sailors at the top of the results board, while Spanish sailor Eric Plancon (14) stays put in second with a bullet and a 13th. American Alex Curtiss has moved into bronze position from eighth, after losing his 19th place result from yesterday’s racing, with the discard system.

The regatta fleet managed to fit in their three races in the variable conditions after a morning coaching and fun session also out on the water. They have been split into four groups for the regatta, the Pirates, the Brigands, the Bandits and the Buccaneers. The four groups take it in turn to sail against each other, whilst under the watchful eyes of the team of a dozen coaches led by Head Coach Dai Thomas from the WYA.

“We are so happy to be invited down here,” said Roland Evans (Herbie), Regatta Fleet Coach and Entertainer. “We have had a brilliant day today. Some of the children have come here knowing very little about racing and now on day three they are all sailing round a Carantec course. It’s been the best day yet of a National Championships I have ever done!”   

Day 2 - Team USA in top form

The American Team at the Volvo Musto Optimist National Championships are topping the results board in both the senior and junior fleets. The 105 sailors in the regatta fleet have also been racing each of the past two days, managing to fit in six races as well as training to perfect their sailing skills.

Sarah Williams (13) from America is currently leading the senior fleet and is the only girl in the top ten, with a first and second place today to add to her second and sixth of yesterday. Spanish sailor Eric Plancon (14) is a mere four points behind her with 15 points overall, followed by the first British sailor Ben Harden (14). Plancon was very happy with his performance today, “I had a great time out there and love sailing here in the UK. It’s great fun!”

Irish sailor Alexander Rumball (13) moved up from eighth on the first day to fourth after the two races of the day, with Danish sailor, Laerke Lokdam (14) also moving up from sixth to fifth.

Hunter Johnstone (12) from New York Yacht Club leads the junior fleet, five points ahead of his nearest rival Dutch sailor, Niels Broekhuizen (12). The young American enjoys the conditions out in Portland Harbour, with the 15 knots of breeze being similar to the conditions he races in at home. Third place was won by Nik Froud (12) from the United Emirates Team with a fourth and a second pushing him up the leader board.

First Brit in the junior fleet is Jamie Diamond (12) from Hampshire, he found the wind out on the course perfect again today for Optimist racing. “It was an awesome day on the water. I love sailing against the foreign sailors as they are very competitive and push the rest of us.”

“It was an enjoyable day on the water, we had clear skies, sun and a brilliant sea breeze. After a few false starts by the fleets, we managed to complete two very competitive races, with the positions changing continuously in each fleet. The points are so close at the top of the leader board tomorrow’s racing could be very interesting,” said Nigel Alderton, the Event Safety Co-ordinator.

The regatta fleet, which are all learning to race in big fleets , had a great day out on the water. It started with games and coaching at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, before heading out for their three races. Benjamin Waha (11) is in first place, with Joseph Burns (10) in second, only one point behind. Norfolk’s Jo Girling (11) has done very well today moving up from tenth position to third.   

Day 1 - International Competitors Excel

The first day of the Volvo Musto Optimist National Championships saw sailors from abroad dominate the top of the leader board. Apart from two British sailors, the top five of both the senior and junior fleets saw USA, Spain, United Arab Emirates and Holland all feature.

Two races were completed in perfect conditions in Portland Harbour the relatively sheltered water of the host venue, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The 379 young sailors are divided into three fleets for the Nationals, with the senior fleet and junior fleet racing on large courses using most of the harbour and the regatta fleet for youngsters who are learning to race, nearer the shore.

129 young sailors make up the senior fleet, all aged between 13 to 15 years of age. British sailor, Alex Mothersele from Emsworth Sailing Club (Hampshire) leads the senior fleet at the end of day one, with Tom Britz from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club (Hampshire), one point behind in second place overall. Spanish sailor Eric Plancon is lying third, with a third and fourth place in his two races. American sailors Alex Curtiss and Sarah Williams finish off the top five positions in this fleet.

The visitors to UK waters also excelled in the junior fleet (12 years old and under), with Oliver Grogono, from the United Arab Emirates taking two wins, while Team USA carried on their successful performance with the help of Duncan Williford, Clay Danly and Hunter Johnstone. taking second, third and fourth places overall consecutively, with Danish sailor, Niels Broekhuizen achieving fifth.

“It’s brilliant to see the level of competition at this event grow annually, with the help of our overseas sailors. They will make the competition for the GBR sailors very interesting this week. Conditions tomorrow look to change from the 10 to 15 knots we saw today, to light winds, possibly allowing a few other sailors to excel,” said Digger Harden, Optimist Sailing Secretary.

The Volvo Musto Optimist National Championships continue tomorrow with a maximum of four races for the senior and junior fleets starting at 11:00, weather permitting.   

Arrival Information / Site map

Please read this information prior to arrival. It contains important information about parking, storage of Optimists, trailers etc. (links are on the right).  (26/07/2007)

Can you help transport things to Weymouth?

Volvo cars kindly loan us two cars each year to be used in conjunction with the event. Ben and Digger will be using them this year which has left me with boxes of event T shirts, helpers polo shirts, tally boards, event booklets, registration packs, carrier bags, brochures, pottery plates and much more besides to get to Weymouth. If you are able to swing past Poole on your way to the Nationals to take a box or two I'd be really grateful. Boxes range in size from six bottle wine box size to 3' square. Ideally I need to have all the kit in Weymouth by Friday morning. Thanks in advance Fiona 07753931360   (17/07/2007)

SENIOR FLEET/ JUNIOR FLEET/ - Unpaid entries removed from entry list

In accordance with the posting on the Nationals web site, entries for which an entry fee was not received within 7 days of the closing date of the 14th July, have been removed from the entry lists to a holding area. On payment of the entry fee (£160) plus an additional late entry fee (£30)entries will be moved back to the fleet entry list and verified.  (15/07/2007)

Event Booklet and Supplementary Sailing Instructions

With the Nationals now getting very close, all the final preparations are falling into place. This includes the printing of the Event Booklet and the Supplementary Sailing Instructions. For those eager to read this before getting to Weymouth we have posted a copy of the text here for you to download.  (15/07/2007)

Opportunities for older siblings to earn some pocket money !

Will you be at the Nationals at a loose end while your younger brother or sister sail? Why not sign up as a Gopher for the week and earn some pocket money. I am looking for several older siblings to assist with various shore based duties during the week. If you are interested please get in touch Fiona  (15/07/2007)

All Camper Van spaces at WPNSA now booked

Please note that WPNSA can accept no more camper van bookings as they are now full. If you have not already booked a space for your van you will need to make alternative arrangements  (22/06/2007)

Pre-event access at Nationals

If you were thinking of training at weymouth in the week before the event you will need to contact Rosie Julian for permission.

WPNSA are hosting the combined Cherub and International Moth national championships in the week prior to our event, which means that space at the sailing academy is limited.  

Mothership required

Mother ship - due to the excellent number of entries I feel we need another mother ship for the main fleet

If you are able to hep please contact Digger on 07806624852

IOCA will pay the mooring fees for the week and you will be able to moor at WPNSA in the heart of the action.  

Helpers required

With a record level of entries for the Nationals this year at Weymouth, Its time to ask people to sign up and volunteer for duties at the Nationals.

I have in place a great team of people responsible for the overall smooth running of the different areas of the event, for example Steve Grant is taking overall responsibility for the results, Steve Witty is chief beachmaster and Nigel Alderton is safety control.

We now need YOU to step forward and support these key people to ensure our children can have a great weeks sailing.  

No Mooring facilities for Support Craft at WPNSA

With the number of safety RIBs and official yachts/motorboats at the Nationals there will be no room on the pontoons for support craft, be they RIBs , motorboats or yachts. If you intend bringing a support boat to the Nationals you should make arrangements to moor it somewhere other than at WPNSA.  (13/05/2007)

Entry fees received to date

The web site is up to date (20/7/07) in respect of all entry fees and signed entry forms received to date. Please note that outstanding entry fees for both the Junior and Senior fleets are due by 21st Jly to avoid a incurring a late entry fee of £30  (13/05/2007)

Online entries, payments etc

All entries for IOCA (UK) Major Events are now initiated On-Line, with Entry Fees being sent to the Class Coordinator, along with a printed copy of the On-Line Entry Form. All participants and potential participants should note that:
  • All Entry Fees must be paid prior to the event; Payment of Entry Fees on the first day of an event is not allowed, unless this has been previously agreed with the Class Co-ordinator, for example foreign sailors.
  • Having entered On-Line, the closing date for entry fee payment receipt by the class coordinator is 7 days after the closing date for On Line Entries. An entry is not complete or accepted until payment is received, with confirmation being shown on the Entry List.
  • Non receipt of payment for an entry within 7 days of the closing date for On Line Entries will result in an entry being removed from the Entry List, and may result in a late payment fee being requested.
  • Any Entry first attempted after the Closing date for On-Line Entries will need to be made directly with the Class Coordinator, and will be subject to a late payment fee.
  • Where a Late Payment Fee is incurred, IOCA will donate 50% of that payment to its chosen Charity - The John Merricks Sailing Trust.
  • Banking of an Entry Fee can be delayed until approximately one week prior to the event by special arrangement with the Class Co-ordinator.

Try a laser 4.7

On Monday and Tuesday evening (weather permitting) there will be the opportunity for any sailors to try a laser 4.7 free of charge courtesy of Sail Laser  (21/04/2007)

Sailing for Adults

the laser sailing centre at WPNSA is offering a variety of courses and the opportunity to hire dinghies during the week. Please contact Neil Coxon or Matt Bridage on 0845 3373214 for further details  (21/04/2007)

Sailing for the under 8s

For children too young to sail in the Regatta fleet IOCA have aranged for the laser sailing centre(sailing school)based at WPNSA to provide a week of sailing and training in your own optimists. the laser centre will be responsible for the coaching and safety cover for the young sailors and we must emphasise that the sailing school is a commercial organisation and that IOCA have no control or responsibilty for this event. Please contact Neil Coxon or Matt Bridge on 08453373214 for further details   (21/04/2007)


For safety reasons no cars will be permitted in to the main dinghy park area. On arrival you will asked to unhitch trailers and or unload optimists in the perimeter road and move them by hand in to the dinghy park

All optimists will be allocated a dinghy space, based on their tally number. A list of allocated spaces will be posted on the web site one week prior to the event. As space is limited please stick to your allocated space during the week.  

Car Parking

On site car parking facilities will be limited and therefore one car park permit per family will be issued at registration. A camper van would count as your family vehicle for the week.

over flow car parking will be available in the car park to the North of the WPNSA site  

Camping Facilities

There are no camping facilities available on site. See WPNSA web site for details of local campsites  (21/04/2007)

Camper Vans at the Nationals

Camper vans must be booked in advance direct with WPNSA. Costs are £2.50 per person per night up to a max of £7.50 per night. Space limited so please book early.

No power hook available, but water available from drinking water stands. Shower and toilet facilities available  

Regatta Fleet RIBS

The Regatta Fleet organisers are looking for RIBS to run the event. Please sign up under Regatta Fleet volunteers for the supply of a RIB and they will then contact you prior to confirming acceptance of the RIB (and driver). We need a total of 16 RIBS to run a regatta fleet of 112 entires.  (05/04/2007)

2007 Nationals Plate Design

As many will already be aware, 2007 is the 60th Anniversary of when our beloved Optimist was designed by Clark Mills, and the popularity of the class now excels anything that might have been envisaged then; with more than 150,000 children around the world sailing Optimists it is the largest and still the fastest growing dinghy class on the world.

To celebrate this Diamond Jubilee the UK class association are organising a number of events and memorabilia to mark this. One such item is our Annual Plate which we present to every attendee at our National Championships. Over the past few years we have run a competition amongst the class membership for the design of this plate, it's objective being to capture the spirit of the class and the event venue; this has generated some great designs from our members, and the plates are prized collectables.

The 60th Anniversary provides an ideal opportunity for us to do something slightly different, and for this year's plate we will use our specially designed Anniversary Logo as the centrepiece. I am sure everyone will agree that this provides an ideal theme for our 2007 Nationals and that the plates will be treasured by all who receive them.  

Squad selections

Sailors entering the Senior fleet or Junior fleet gain points towards being selected for the IOCA National, Intermediate and Development squads.


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Entry Fees

Fleet Normal Late
Junior Fleet £135.00 --
Regatta Fleet £160.00 --
Senior Fleet £135.00 --


Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy website

Important information regarding parking, unloading of Optimists etc.
Arrival site map
map showing parking areas, optimist and trailor storage areas etc.

Optimist home page

Entry statistics

Notice of Race - Championship fleets (Updated)
These are the Junior and Senior Fleets.
Updated 2nd June 2007
(1) Seeding based on Inlands.
(2) Minimum age criteria clarified
(3) Closing date

Notice of Race - Regatta Fleet
Event Booklet and SIs

Late entry fee
The late entry fee is £30.

Guide to measurement
This document gives an overview of measurement procedures at the Nationals.
Equipment Declaration Form
Senior and Junior Fleet competitors will need to print and complete this document and bring it with them to registration.
Regatta Fleet Check Form
Regatta Fleet sailors can check against the 'Regatta Fleet Check Form' to ensure their boats are going to pass the checks at WPNSA.
Measurement Procedures
All competitors should read the 'Measurement Procedures' so that they know what to bring to measurement area.
Entry ages
Senior Fleet (13 - 15)
Junior Fleet (Under 13)
These are ages as of 31/12/2007
Regatta Fleet (min age 8 at the event)

Helpers required
In order to run a successful event we require your help. Please sign up for some of the duties. You can do this by clicking on the appropriate link and selection the duty and date. To help on more than one date, please repeat the above process.

Volunteer to help
Senior and Junior Fleets
Regatta Fleet

Duty rosters
Senior and Junior Fleets
Regatta Fleet

IOCA membership
£25 family membership - includes first helm
£10 for each additional helm

Past winners

Any questions

Contact: IOCA(UK)
Tel No:   01202 668 158

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