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17/03/2012
Winter Championships Leigh & Lowton SC

     

    Nine 500’s ignored the forecast of little to no wind and headed for Lee on the Solent Sailing Club to join the 400’s and 300’s and 600’s on the weekend of 13/14 June.  They were rewarded by very pleasant sunshine, and winds ranging from 2 to 8 knots on day one, and 10 to 16, gusting 19 knots on day two.  This, combined with a sea state ranging from flat to, well, very lumpy, meant that all styles of sailing were required to succeed.  The 200’s down the coast at Stokes bay, weren’t so lucky on the first day, and were very short of wind, so rumour had it.

     

    The host club were very welcoming, with lots of rigging space and easy parking near the launch area, a club house just a short walk away, very friendly and helpful shore teams, and in what may well set a precedent for all future open meetings; free tea and homemade cakes for all after each days racing! 

     

    James Tanner and Lucinda Blain’s tactical move to distract everyone by announcing their engagement before the racing, did not pay off, and Lucinda’s attempt to blind the opposition with her new diamond ring, sparkling in the bright sun, failed miserably.  Many congratulations to Lucinda and James. 

     

    The first real challenge was to write your name clearly on the registration form,  one which proved too much for Andy and Liz Palmer-Felgate, who left the organising team struggling over whether it was ‘Relgate’ or ‘Reigate’.

     

    The second challenge was to make sure to be at the start line before the start. Kevin Gerald and Hazel Boxon pushed this one too far by going for a sail to Cowes with only about 2 minutes to go.

     

    Race One began in a very light breeze and a bit of tide, and it was the Palmer-Reigate-Ramsgate-Felgates who, along with Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin, led the way up the first beat.  There wasn’t much position changing outside of the front runners, and, after enduring a painfully light breeze, the race committee shortened after 2 laps and it was Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin, who kept the Palmer-Felgates in second place.  They were followed closely by Richard and Sue Morley, who had ignored the rule about them staying in mid-fleet, and decided to take on the leading boats.  There was then a very long gap before anyone else appeared on the horizon.  Amazingly no-one was DSQd by the 20 minute rule.

     

    A bit more breeze in Race Two, saw the first race leaders challenged by Jeni and Kate Tod. A well thought-out first beat put them in out in front, and this time, a bit more position changing meant that on the reach for the finish it was Tim and Heather, followed closely by Jeni and Kate, then Andy and Liz.  The finish line for the 500s was slightly encroached by the 400’s leeward mark, and with a bit of tide to confuse things further, this could have been the reason for Tim and Heather capsizing within a boat-length of the finish, allowing Jeni and Kate Tod to take 1st, the Andy and Liz 2nd, and Richard and Sue Morley 3rd.

     

    Race Three saw more of a breeze, and some really enjoyable sailing with very similar results to Race Two, except that this time, it was the reading ability of Tim and Heather that produced a challenge, and resulted in them heading for the finish a lap early. Or was it the enticement of tea and cakes? The result for them was a 2nd place, a win for Andy and Liz, and Richard and Sue in 3rd.

     

    Day two saw increasing wind strength and bigger seas, testing the sailing in waves as much as anything.  The tidal affect appeared to be fairly even across the course, so it was down to boat speed through the waves that would be key.  Race Four went to Tim and Heather, With Andy and Liz second, Richard and Sue Morley..... really?......3rd

     

    Race Five saw increasing wind strength and fantastic high-speed reaching on lumpy waves.

    Kevin and Hazel OCS,  Torn spinnaker and gear failure on the RHS boats, Rebecca and Justin getting more swimming practice and everyone generally having a great time!  James and Lucinda finally stopped looking at the diamond, and started to sail, putting pressure on Jeni and Kate, but settling for a 4th place at the finish.  Andy and Liz crossed the line in 1st, Tim and Heather, 2nd  and enjoying the heavy weather, Jeni and Kate finished in 3rd.  

     

    So it all hinged on the last race. 

     

    Tim and Heather,  Andy and Liz.  Both now uncatchable. Not a hair’s breadth between them

     

    (Reading and writing ability aside, that is. Tim could be heard reminding himself, “Four laps, Four laps, Four laps”  Andy saying out loud, “Felgate, Felgate, Ramsgate, no, no, Felgate”)

     

    Wind still building close to 20 knots, waves and swell, even bigger.

     

    In what could only be described as a match race, battling it out on equal points, the result of race Six, which was also reflected in the final top three result for the Open:

     

    1s   Andy and Liz Palmer-Felgate 

    2nd Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin 

    3rd  Jeni and Kate Tod 

     

    This was also the first experience, for some, of the new sails, and they look good! They certainly stand out much more than the sails of the 200, 400 etc.  Based on this event, there would appear to be no difference in performance characteristics to the old style.  

     

    Great to see new-comers Rebecca and Justin Hannam from Lymington, we can expect to see more of them this year, and the guys from the RHS Holbrook School, one of whom is currently standing outside the Head’s office, waiting to explain the torn spinnaker. (If you’re reading this, Headteacher, it can happen to anyone!)    

     

     

    1st

    RS500

    584

    Andrew Palmer-Relgate

    Elizabeth Palmer-Relgate

    Burghfield SC

    (2.0)

    2.0

    1.0

    2.0

    1.0

    1.0

    9.0

    7.0

    2nd

    RS500

    625

    Tim Wilkins

    Heather Martin

    Sully SC

    1.0

    (6.0)

    2.0

    1.0

    2.0

    2.0

    14.0

    8.0

    3rd

    RS500

    566

    Jeni Tod

    Kate Tod

     

    (4.0)

    1.0

    4.0

    4.0

    3.0

    3.0

    19.0

    15.0

    4th

    RS500

    517

    Richard Morley

    Sue Morley

    Burghfield SC

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    (5.0)

    5.0

    22.0

    17.0

    5th

    RS500

    525

    James Tanner

    Lucinda Blain

    Burghfield

    (7.0)

    4.0

    5.0

    6.0

    4.0

    4.0

    30.0

    23.0

    6th

    RS500

    680

    Kevin Gerald

    Hazel Boxon

    Budworth SC

    (10.0 DNS)

    5.0

    6.0

    5.0

    10.0 OCS

    6.0

    42.0

    32.0

    7th

    RS500

    747

    Arthur Howard

    Cameron Talbott

    RHS Holbrook, Ispwich

    6.0

    7.0

    7.0

    (10.0 DNF)

    6.0

    7.0

    43.0

    33.0

    8th

    RS500

    561

    Rebecca Hannam

    Justin Hannam

     

    5.0

    (8.0)

    8.0

    7.0

    7.0

    8.0

    43.0

    35.0

    9th

    RS500

    746

    Robert Moritz

    Christian Proctor

    RHS Holbrook, Ispwich

    8.0

    (10.0 OCS)

    9.0

    8.0

    8.0

    10.0 DNF

    53.0

    43.0

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