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35 boats including 13 from the home club and 2 from Ireland lined up for the annual domestic season opener, a little later in the year than normal due to the Thailand worlds. Having boats still in the container was no excuse though, as boats, sails and crews were begged and borrowed from a variety of sources.

On the race track the fleet were greeted by a strong damp north easterly breeze gusting over 20 knots. It was Dave Wade and Ben McGrane, still showing their good form from Thailand, who managed to get in front at the finish following a four way tustle. Regular changes in the lead took place throughout the day in tricky, gusty and shifting conditions.

In the day's second race Sam Mettam, back in a Fireball after time abroad charged round with crew Richard Anderton to take line honours, ahead of Adam Whitehouse and Mike Pratt in their new boat. The new pairing of DJ Edwards and Andy Thompson were 3rd.

The last race of the day saw local youngsters Tom Foskett and Tim Needham take the gun from Edwards and Thompson with current European Champions Andy Smith and Jonny Mildred 3rd. It was Whitehouse and Pratt who finished the day in the lead with a consistent 2,2,4. Some competitors were not so lucky and the day's damage included one mast, a spinnaker pole and several sails written off!

Saturday evening saw a 4 course curry feast in the clubhouse. Some competitors unwisely took on the yellow and green pickle, and lost!

Sunday brought lighter conditions. It was Kevin Hope, twice a previous winner, crewed for this event by John Rowell, who played the shifts best to lead all the way round. Local pairing Ian Kelly and Pete Elver chased hard for 2nd with Wade and McGrane 3rd. Wade and McGrane won race 5 after a 3 way tussle with Edwards and Thompson and Becky Priest and Tim Saunders.

The event was still wide open at lunch. Whitehouse and Pratt did their best to recover from a poor morning by winning the last race, but it was Wade and McGrane who took the event posting a third. Smith and Mildreds second place gave them 2nd overall with Whitehouse and Pratt third.



1st   14929 Dave Wade Ben McGrane Pitsford / CVLSC

2nd   14895 Andy Smith Jonny Mildred Notts County  

3rd   14991 Adam Whitehouse Mike Pratt DWSC

4th   14780 Kevin Hope John Rowell Notts County SC

5th   14899 Sam Mettam Richard Anderton  

14966 Grahame Newton Mark Stevens SHSC




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