Over the last year Bea Greenfield has made huge progress in her sailing including getting her Optimist ‘ROSA’. Through her progression in attending both the OSC Novice days and Pirates on a Tuesday evening during 2017 she decided to attend the RYA Zone Championships held at Oxford Sailing Club; an event that she really enjoyed and whet her appetite for more. So off to the Optimist End of Season Regatta at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre to day 1 of 25 knots and day 2 of 5 knots; again Bea had a great time sailing in the regatta fleet making new friends as she went.
This led to the ultimate decision in any sailors career – do I stop now or will I continue to sail through the winter and brave the best that the weather can throw at me. With a new drysuit to be delivered by Father Christmas she decided she wanted to keep sailing and the simple decision of what, where and when was then what needed answering. Through the International Optimist Class Association (IOCA), specific regional training was being run from November through to April and Bea decided to attend the sessions at Burghfield Sailing Club near Reading. The weeks of training she underwent with both mornings and afternoons spent learning skills, debriefing and then racing in small groups culminating each week in a couple of races with all the boats participating helped her to practice learnt skills and make mistakes in a very sheltered environment and progress has definitely been evident. These sessions are fantastic for all involved, friendships are made and they look forward to the next sessions or the next events they are attending.
Having spent a good winter training at Burghfield and sailing at Oxford, Bea travelled to the South and Thames Valley Regatta to compete in the fleet of 59 boats. Bea surprised her father in the first race by being 2nd round the windward mark, excellent! At lunch, Bea was 15th but the challenge of fading afternoon wind meant she finished 20th overall. However, once the zone squad sailors were removed from the results she finished as 2nd non-squad girl. This is a fantastic achievement and she was overjoyed to receive her first podium and a trophy for her efforts not to forget the prize of a new pair of Douglas Gill polarized sunglasses to motivate for the next event.
Bea is travelling off to Grafham this weekend to the Optimist Inland championships where she will race in the regatta fleet against 62 other competitors battling it out for position but using as a learning experience whilst the Main fleet of 210 boats battle it out for the main prizes and the accolades. Watch this space for an update.