For the first WS Race in October, the weather was overcast, the temperature mild and the wind coming and going. Nevertheless there was sufficient wind (blowing from the SW) to enable the tenth race of the Summer Series to be held. The early arrivers had an opportunity to sail around the course and test the wind, others arrived just in time to sail to the Start Line…where 16 Racers were sailing around up and down, waiting for the 3 Minute Gong. The race started on time at 11.30 and Malcolm Hill (Martin #125), David Mason (2.4m #109) and Jake Jones (Liberty #23) nailed the start as can be seen here a second before the gong sounded…
and then the you can see in the video what happened to them and some of the other sailors in the leading part of the fleet as they beat up to the first Mark A.
(Very interesting viewing if you pick on one boat and watch it progress…or not, as the case may be! And see how little wind flurries give one or two boats a sudden boost to their speed whilst others near by struggle to keep moving forward. So very frustrating when that’s YOU!! Ed)
The usual suspects started to get their noses in front and the video ends with David Mason well on his way to the first Mark A, closely chased by Peter Gregory (2.4m #148 – AKA The Red Torpedo). And due to their decisions on where to tack, Peter ended up heading for Mark A but meeting David coming into the Mark on a starboard tack. This meant that Peter had to give way to David but in the event David chose to round the mark immediately and Peter left him lots of room both to go round the Mark and then to reach across to the second Mark B. But once these two Marks have been rounded and the downwind leg to Mark D was underway, The Red Torpedo gradually gained the upper hand leading to Peter rounding Mark B first.
Martin Newman (Martin #126) was the next to round Mark A and he was being closely tracked by Mike Blatchford (Liberty #22 Yellow), Jake Jones (Liberty #23 White) and Peter Wagner (2.4m #108) and they can be seen here approaching and rounding Mark A and then chasing after Martin and finally running downwind towards mark D after gybing around Mark B…
Then another wave of sailors arrived at Mark A, Imogen Fletcher and Meg (303 # 9 Blue sail), Steve Farmer (303 #1 White) and Fay Watson and James (303 #10 Red). All quite close together but in almost balletic fashion they sorted themselves out to round the Mark as can be seen here..
Once Peter Gregory completed his first lap some 90 seconds ahead of David Mason in second place, he continued to pull out a significant lead over the rest of the field. He completed his third lap 3 minutes ahead and was the only helm asked to complete 4 laps. The wave of boats following David Mason in his 2.4m, as he was chasing Peter Gregory, initially comprised the 2.4m of Peter Wagner, the two Martins of Malcolm and Martin, and the two Liberties of Mike and Jake. Unfortunately for Malcolm his challenge was thwarted by equipment failure that put him way back down the field. That left the field clear for Martin in #126 and he held onto third place on -the-water for the whole race.
Peter Wagner in his 2.4m sailed into fourth place followed by the two Liberties and then Kim Sparkes in her Access 303 Yellow sails #6 and just 18 secs behind came Mark Cayzer and his crew Tony Merrick by the time they finished the second lap. But during the third lap, Kim split the Liberties , finishing the third and last lap 1 minute behind Mike and 90 seconds ahead of Jake. These seven helms were the only ones to complete three laps. The remaining helms had their own battles with each other and with the shifty wind. Mark Cayzer and Tony Merrick 303 Blue sail #2, Imogen Fletcher and Meg Warren 303 Blue sail # 9 and Fay Watson and James Thomas 303 Red sail #10 were vying for position at most of the Marks and eventually came home just 90 seconds apart and ahead of Steve, Louise and Kelly. Ann Frewer stuck to the task in her 2.3 to complete two laps.
A great contest throughout the fleet. Well done to all! Ed.
Race Result with Time Difference behind (in seconds per lap)
1, Kim Sparkes (303)
2. Mike Blatchford (Liberty) – 10s
3. David Mason (2.4m) – 30s
4. Jake Jones (Liberty) – 3s
5. Martin Newman and Sebastian (Martin) – 15s
6. Mark Cayzer and crew Tony Merrick (303) – 20s
7. Peter Gregory (2.4m) – 10s
8. Imogen Fletcher and crew Meg Warren (303) – 5s
9. Fay Watson and crew James Thomas (303) – 18s
10. Peter Wagner (2.4m) – 0.5s
11. Steve Farmer (303) – 6s
12. Ann Frewer (2.3) – 19s
13. Louise McSweeney (303)
14. Malcolm Hill and crew Di (Martin) – plagued by gear failure
15. Kelly Tripp and crew Jane (303)
Tom Phillips did not complete the full course.