Another brilliant effort by all you WS Racers on a lovely summer’s day at Chipstead. Even the wind tried to behave as it freshened to 10 to 12 knots whilst most of you were on the water practicing before the race and then gradually weakened as the race progressed. How does he know that? Ed. By looking at Peter Gregory’s lap split times – against a first lap of 7 min 43 secs, his second was 25 secs slower, the third 1 min 9 secs slower and the fourth lap was 1 min 43 secs slower.
Most of the fleet were marshalled close to the Start Line as the final gong of the 5-4-1-Off sequence sounded, with the result that half the fleet crossed the line in a blanket start. Well done! Ed. Once they were clear of the other’s wind shadows, David Mason in a 2.4 and Mike Blatchford in a Martin started to pull away and then tacked onto Starboard whilst Peter Gregory in his 2.4 stayed on Port tack and sailed away to the north of the lake, as close as possible to the wind. And although it appeared that Mike Blatchford would round the windward Mark (B) first, he had to put in another tack which let Peter Gregory through to lead by 50 yards before Mike and David Mason tacked around Mark B closely followed by Brain Mac in a Liberty, Malcolm Hill and his crew Mark in a Martin and the front running 303s of Fay Watson and crew James Thomas and Steve Farmer sailing single-handed. There was some closing up and pulling away for those boats that set their sails to maximise the effect of the good breeze from the West which was blowing them back down the lake to gybe around Mark C and run another 500 yards before tacking round the leeward Mark (D). Peter Gregory had pulled out a 300 yard lead over Mike Blatchford who was 25 yards in front of David Mason as these three helms beat back up the lake to complete their first Lap. Not surprisingly the bigger sails on Malcolm Hill’s Martin and the Venture, helmed by Keith, with Mike Cartwright as crew, meant that they started their 2nd Laps in fourth and sixth place respectively – split by an excellent first lap by Brian Mac in his Liberty. Only a minute later, Fay Watson and James Thomas completed their first Lap, 50 yards ahead of Steve Farmer in his 303. The remaining boats in the fleet were still battling, Bill Garry in Pink Lady a Liberty just keeping ahead of Peter Wagner, sailing for the first time in the fleet’s only servo-driven Liberty. See Peter Wagner’s interesting comments on his experience below. Ed. But Bill was lapped by Peter Gregory’s Red Torpedo as he tore across the Start/Finish Line 13 secs ahead of Bill. They were followed by Martin Norman and Sebastian in their 303 who were holding their own against Mark Cayzer and Don in their 303 who started their 2nd Lap after 19 minutes on the water and just as David Mason and Mike Blatchford were about to lap them.
Despite the lessening wind speed during his second Lap, Peter Gregory pulled away by 2 1/2 minutes from David Mason and Mike Blatchford, whilst they played cat and mouse with each other. And only these three, plus Malcolm Hill in his Martin and Keith in the Venture, sailed a third Lap – and only Peter Gregory sailed a fourth Lap, because he had built up quite a lead over the rest of the fleet by the time he completed his third Lap. Hang on there. I thought I saw David Mason sailing a forth Lap? Ed. Yes – well he shouldn’t have and it confused the Race Controller in the Race Hut which resulted in the provisional results having to be corrected! Excuses, excuses. Ed.
So, after applying the respective Portsmouth Yardsticks, the Final Result is:
- David Mason in a 2.4m
- Fay Watson and James Thomas – 303D
- Peter Gregory – 2.4m
- Mike Blatchford – Martin
- Steve Farmer – 303S
- Malcolm Hill and Mark – Martin
- Brian Mac – Liberty
- Peter Wagner – Liberty (with servo steering)
- Bill Garry – Liberty
- Martin Norman and Sebastian – 303D
- Mark Cayzer and Don – 303D
- Keith and Mike Cartwright – Venture
It was good to see Bob Fisher down to enjoy a WS coffee and witness Steve storming home to a great 5th place! And we were all very sorry to hear that Ann Frewer could not race due to a cracked rib, sustained when sailing on the Medway last weekend. Our thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery Ann!
And here are a few photos that show how close fought a race it was at times: