Hayling Island Golden Dolphin - Event Report

Hayling Island SC hosted the first sea event of the Fireball Open Meeting season over the weekend of 30th April and 1st May. With the Fireball Worlds in Ireland less than 6 weeks away there was a highly competitive fleet, which included the current World and European Champions, using the event as part of their pre-Worlds preparation.

Boats were launched in a brisk Nor-easterly but out in Hayling Bay winds were an unexpectantly lighter 8-10 knots.

In the first race Vince Horey and Andy Thompson led around the first mark but were quickly overhauled by Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend on the reach who maintained their lead to win the race with Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey in second and Horey third.

For Race 2, the wind had increased and the tide was on the turn pushing boats over the start line. After an inevitable general recall the fleet got away under a black flag. Once again the left was the way to go and the fleet was led at the top mark by Gillard followed by Burge and Howarth. Everyone plugged left again on the second beat. Burge judged his layline perfectly and tacked well before Gillard to take the lead and went onto to win from Gillard in second and Howarth in third. On Sunday morning there was an even stronger breeze from the North East blowing in the harbour, but again it was lighter out in the bay, although stronger than Saturday.

In Race 3 Burge was the early leader but Howarth, who had had a poor first beat, took a number of boats on the run by heading straight for the leeward mark rather than following the leaders doing "the wild thing". He then hooked into a beautiful right hand shift with breeze on the starboard layline to take the lead by the second windward mark. It should then have been a reasonably easy task to hold the lead round the triangle to the leeward mark finish. However, a lack of concentration on reading the race instructions meant that both Howarth and Gillard headed up around the leeward mark to start a third lap. Burge, with the benefit of a more literate crew, was the first boat to correctly carry on through the line to take the race win, whilst Gillard managed to respond quickly enough to maintain his second place with Horey taking third.

Going into the fourth and final race the points were so close that any one of four boats could win the meeting. Howarth obviously had the bit between his teeth as he came off the line with blistering pace and had a comfortable lead at the first mark which he held to the finish to win the race and the meeting with Gillard taking his fourth second place of the weekend and Burge third.

A big thank you to HISC members and staff and Zeb Elliot and his race team for setting beats of biblical proportions and providing a terrific weekend's racing.

Overall Results:

1st 15013, Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend (Bewl Valley SC) 5pts
2nd 15036, Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff (Poole YC) 6pts
3rd 15041, Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey (FGSC) 6pts
4th 15020, Vince Horey and Andy Thompson (King George SC) 9pts
5th 14941, Derian Scott and Andy Scott (Chew Valley SC) 14pts
6th 14954, Becky Priest and Tim Saunders (Staunton Harold SC) 16pts

 

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