News

Blackwater Open

Results

Steve Jarred and Nick Collins secure trophy for home club

On the first morning of the Blackwater fireball open, there was an air of trepidation amongst the 17 fireballs that had entere d. Despite the glorious sunshine that greeted the 8 visitors and 9 local boats, there was not a breath of air to be felt. Whilst patiently waiting the arrival of the elusive sea breeze, competitors could enjoy watching the spectacular parade of sail for Maldon regatta. Eventually, the optimism and patience paid off and the race committee fired the warning gun for the first race.

Off the start line, competitors were faced with the decision of going left, where the wind appeared more stable or right, where the sea breeze was filling in. Steve Jarred and Nick Collins (Blackwater SC) chose to go hard left and rounded the windward mark in first place. They held this lead to the finish but not without pressure from those behind with Elaine and Warren Tudor (Brightlingsea SC) chasing hard for second and Tim Riley and Lucy Foulds (Littleton SC) in third. The race committee decided to call it a day with the wind dying and the tide turning.

After racing, the bar was open for beer, and dinner was served to all competitors. Afterwards, some chose to go into Maldon to join the regatta celebrations whilst others relaxed at the sailing club.

Sunday looked like more wind and everyone was keen to get out on the water to make the most of the healthy force 2-3 ... which promptly dropped off upon arrival at th e course! Following the start, most of the fleet chose to go right on the first beat for the sea breeze except for Simon Maskell/Sam Knott (Hunts SC) and Mark Maskell/Dawn Jasper who rounded the windward mark in 1st and 2nd followed by Martin Scarth and Tony King (Blackwater SC). The top 3 remained the same until the final run where Scarth/King gybed at the top mark to overtake and eventually win.

There was just enough wind to start race 3 and Tim Riley and Lucy Foulds (Littleton SC) played the shifts and found the pressure well on the first beat to round the windward mark in a comfortable lead. Unfortunately for them, the wind dropped to nothing and it was those towards the back of the fleet who benefited from the pressure filling in from behind, if they spotted it coming in from the left. Positions changed and the fireballs and 505s rounded the gybe mark in close quarters shouting for water and desperately trying to keep the boats moving. The next leg was a beat to the finish due to a shift in the wind direction and a good decision by the race committee to shorten the course. Maskell and Jasper won the race with the Tudors coming second and Jarred and Collins finishing in third.

The wind continued to die and the competitors were mostly towed back in to the club for prize giving before heading home. Jarred/Collins won overall with the Tudors in second and Riley/Foulds in third. The Traveller’s trophy, awarded for the best results over the 3 local open meetings on the River Blackwater (Brightlingsea, Harlow Blackwater and Blackwater SC), was won by Martin Scarth and Tony King.


 



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