January

19

Exe Sails Starcross Steamer
Starcross YC

19/01/2020 - 19/01/2020
February

29

RYA Dinghy Show

29/02/2020 - 01/03/2020
March

21

Staunton Harold SC Open
Staunton Harold SC

21/03/2020 - 22/03/2020
May

2

Hayling Island SC Open
Hayling Island SC

02/05/2020 - 03/05/2020
June

6

Brightlingsea SC Open (Golden Dolphin)
Brightlingsea SC

06/06/2020 - 07/06/2020

Northampton Open Meeting

Northerners Gillard and Anderton revel in shifty conditions

Results

8-10 knots greeted 17 fireballs on Saturday at the Northampton open. Race one got under way with a mix of shifts and gusts rapidly splitti ng the fleet up. Martin Lewis and Richard Byne managed to hold off Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton in second, and Becky Priest and Tim Saunders in third to take the first race.

Races 2 and 3 provided more of the same conditions, in race 2 Martin Scarth and Simon Maskell rounded the windward mark first, but couldn’t hold onto the lead. Gillard got to the front, and extended his lead, leaving Priest and Kevin Hope / Russell Thorne fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd. Sarah Martin and Ian Priest were in for their best result – 4th – until they rolled it in on a gybe.

Race 3 saw Hope take the lead, which he fought hard to maintain to the finish from Gillard in 2nd and Daren Fasey and Colin Davis in third. The club provided their usual banquet on the Saturday evening, and after a few beers the fleet retired for the night in preparation for 2 more races on Sunday.

The wind had changed direction slightly overnight, and though there were still shifts to be taken, they were slightly further apart. The breeze increased through the day, touching 12-14 knots for race 5. Race 4 saw Tom Foskett and Simon Forbes leading for the first lap. Early in lap 2 Gillard passed Foskett, and developed a lead, but Lewis was closing rapidly and as soon as he was through Foskett, he caught Gillard and overtook just before the 3rd leeward mark. As the helms motored past the mark arguing about who had water, the crews decided it was probably time to take the kites down. When it became apparent that the argument about water no longer had any bearing as the mark was somewhere upwind, both boats gybed but unfortunately Lewis decided to wash his burgee, leaving an easy victory for Gillard.

The black flag made its second appearance in race 5 and when the fleet was away Hope lead most of the race, leaving Lewis and Gillard to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd. Novice pairing Vince Horey and Dave Wade made a brief appearance at the front of the fleet after riding a gust down a reach, up to, and then round the leading 4 boats. It was great to see some new faces in the fleet – especially Nicola and Michael Parsons who battled their way round in very hard conditions to be learning to sail a fireball in.

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