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By Stuart Jones

Having picked my boat up from Datchet to the sound of a solid force 5 blowing through the boat park, it was some surprise to arrive at Highcliffe to see a mere force 3 out to sea. It was, however, sunny like we don’t normally get, the tide was in and there was an entry of 32 contenders, with a similar amount of Lasers of various rigs, so not all bad.

The first race set off in the increasing force 3. Simon Mussell, lead for the first 2 laps closely followed by John Browett. The pair then had a lively discussion about just how long three boats lengths were, so much so that the idea of rounding the leeward mark almost passed them by. Stuart Jones, following only just within earshot, was the beneficiary, nipping through to lead. Not for long though as Mussell regained his composure and superior boatspeed to lead to the finish. Jones held off Browett on the pumping offwind legs with Graham Scott, recovering from a mediocre start pulling up to fourth.

The wind was down a touch and becoming patchy for the second with trapesing becoming marginal. Scott got his starting together and along with Nick Grace pulled out a bit of a lead. Scott got the better of a close battle to win from Grace with Browett and Jones well clear of the pack also having a tussle but finishing in that order.

For the third race the wind had swung out to sea and become even patchier as the sea breeze messed around with the wind. The windward mark was reset and the battle this time was between Jones and Scott. Jones appeared to hold a good lead when the wind went hard right with Scott finding a hole to sit in on the one leg beat. Jones then found a hole of his own, on the by now, dead running reach. Not to worry though, as Scott brought the wind with him and there were only a couple of lengths between them again. Jones just held on at the last mark only to see Scott nip through to leeward on the short reaching finish to win by a couple of feet. Browett sailed round virtually alone for third, with Grace, complete with a hole in his hull, ahead of the pack.

Sunday dawned strangely damp and windy with the sea looking grey and lumpy. Thankfully it wasn’t as extreme as it looked as Mussell, who had looked out of sorts in the lighter races on Saturday, slipped over the horizon in the force five. That was by the windward mark. Scott, Jones and Nick Noble tussled for the best looser spot but hadn’t counted on Martin Jones knowing something about winds and tides. Tacking off inshore paid for him on the second beat. The others ignored it, so he did it again to neatly slip into second and hold it. Scott comfortably stayed third with Jones, despite swimming during a mistimed gybe getting back past Noble near the end.

The wind now abated a touch but it was still Mussell leading round the first triangle but this time with Jones in close attendance then the big gap to the fleet. The pair tussled closely for the lead. Jones gained the advantage for a lap or so when Mussell had to put in extra tacks to make the windward mark. Not to be outdone in his conditions he pushed the turbo charge button to take a winning lead. Ben Holden, who also likes a breeze, got his act together to take third while Grace, complete with some hull repair tape, rounded off a competitive weekend with forth.

If he had known it, Scott had taken the meeting after the fourth race but overall it was just one point between first and third. That two foot win on the Saturday proving to make all the difference. 

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 32, Scoring system: Appendix A

Rank

SailNo

Club

HelmName

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

Total

Nett

1st

720

RYA

Graham Scott

4.0

1.0

1.0

3.0

(6.0)

15.0

9.0

2nd

2420

Highcliffe SC

Simon Mussell

1.0

(8.0)

7.0

1.0

1.0

18.0

10.0

3rd

2465

Datchet Water SC

Stuart Jones

2.0

(4.0)

2.0

4.0

2.0

14.0

10.0

4th

713

Datchet Water SC

John Browett

3.0

3.0

3.0

(33.0 DNC)

5.0

47.0

14.0

5th

2484

Castle Cove SC

Nick Grace

(8.0)

2.0

4.0

7.0

4.0

25.0

17.0

6th

2315

Halifax

Ben Holden

5.0

10.0

(15.0)

6.0

3.0

39.0

24.0

7th

646

Weston SC

Martin Frary

6.0

5.0

(33.0 DNC)

8.0

8.0

60.0

27.0

8th

2373

Weston SC

Mike Murley

7.0

7.0

5.0

(16.0)

10.0

45.0

29.0

9th

476

Mengeham Rythe

Daniel Taylor

(15.0)

6.0

8.0

10.0

11.0

50.0

35.0

10th

654

Burton

Thomas Hooton

10.0

(33.0 DNC)

6.0

11.0

15.0

75.0

42.0

11th

659

Killington SA

Martin Metcalfe

(20.0)

11.0

10.0

13.0

14.0

68.0

48.0

12th

2347

Wilsonian

Martin Jones

21.0

22.0

(25.0)

2.0

7.0

77.0

52.0

13th

2505

Eastbourne Sovereign SC

Peter Dives

(29.0)

12.0

19.0

12.0

9.0

81.0

52.0

14th

2376

Portishead Y & SC

Nick Noble

11.0

24.0

13.0

5.0

(33.0 DNC)

86.0

53.0

15th

2477

Oxford

Chris Howe

14.0

18.0

(20.0)

9.0

13.0

74.0

54.0

16th

622

Pevensey Bay

Tim Humphries

18.0

(20.0)

12.0

14.0

16.0

80.0

60.0

17th

2506

Lancing SA RNSA

Tony White

16.0

14.0

(21.0)

17.0

17.0

85.0

64.0

18th

469

RYA

Carl Tagoe

9.0

21.0

24.0

(33.0 DNC)

12.0

99.0

66.0

19th

694

Thorpe Bay Yacht Club

Chris Boshier

19.0

9.0

14.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

108.0

75.0

20th

2496

Oxford

Tony Brooks

17.0

17.0

9.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

109.0

76.0

21st

687

Weston SC

Jeremy Blaydes

26.0

28.0

11.0

18.0

(33.0 DNC)

116.0

83.0

22nd

593

Castle Cove SC

John Pym

(30.0)

29.0

18.0

20.0

18.0

115.0

85.0

23rd

2453

OHCC

Neil Smith

13.0

16.0

26.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

121.0

88.0

24th

2406

RAFSA

Ed Presley

12.0

13.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

124.0

91.0

25th

678

Burton

Bill Hooton

27.0

15.0

17.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

125.0

92.0

26th

703

Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club

Peter Hayward

24.0

19.0

16.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

125.0

92.0

27th

2191

Mengeham Rythe

Richard Keevil

25.0

27.0

28.0

15.0

(33.0 DNC)

128.0

95.0

28th

705

King George SC

Myles Blewett

28.0

26.0

23.0

19.0

(33.0 DNC)

129.0

96.0

29th

563

Exe / Weston SC

Iain Horlock

22.0

23.0

22.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

133.0

100.0

30th

675

Lymington Town

David Gautier

23.0

25.0

27.0

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

141.0

108.0

31st

652

Trearddur Bay

Ian Brooks

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

165.0

132.0

31st

696

Downs

Tony Cook

(33.0 DNC)

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

33.0 DNC

165.0

132.0

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