Fleet Challenge

A fleet of 13 boats entered the Fleet Challenge B personal handicap series on an afternoon that started out drizzly but brightened up. A good breeze led to some good, challenging legs, and Hugh/Rachel had a spinnaker issue at a gybe mark that led to a capsize. There were other near misses too! The F15s faired better in the conditions, and although Simon Longstaff/Jon Denwood had a great start from the port end, Tim Chittenden/Ian Macpherson, broke through on the second lap and secured  good lead, only to be beaten on handicap by Alan Jones in his Laser. Martyn Stephenson/Steve Hannah finished 3rd 30 secs later on corrected time.

The course in the 2nd race had more of a reach which suited William Carruthers/Lezli-Ann Pearson in an RS400 and enabled them to break away from the fleet after an iffy first beat, but it didn’t stop the rest of the fleet catching better wind on some offwind legs to keep the pressure on. Val/Ken Bell in their GP were one boat that sailed well, and came out 1st on handicap from Alan Jones. Alistair/Claire Duncan had a much better race and finished 3rd by just 9 secs.

Two breezy races, was enough back to back, so the fleet went ashore for a breather, only to find the wind had shifted and eased by the time they ventured out for the final race of the day. Then the rain moved in and killed the wind! Hanging around for the start many realised the lake water was warmer than the air temperature! The wind remained light throughout the short race and although Simon got into the lead, he couldn’t break away and was beaten on the line by William, but Steve Hunt in his Solo was very close on their tail – Steve won, with Simon 2nd. Terry Hall in his Laser 3rd, and William 4th.

A dry, bright morning, and good SE breeze greeted sailors on Sunday. In race 4, Simon/Jon again sailed well in the conditions and won ahead of Alan Jones who had opted to sail a GP with Sue Watson. Tim/Ian were 3rd and William/Lezli-Ann 4th. In race 5, there was a tight reach to test spinnaker handling, but there were no capsizes. The winds eased at times, and the fleet seemed much more bunched together. This time Kath Davis/Glynis Kett in their GP took the honours from Terry Hall in a Laser. Tim secured another 3rd, and Alan 4th.

It was then time for lunch. Alan was still leading the series but had worked out that Tim could match him on points, neither realising that it was a done deal as Alan’s 1st and two 2nds couldn’t be beaten by a 1st, 2nd and 3rd if Tim were to win the last race. With Sue opting not to sail the final race, Alan took up Alistair’s offer to crew, leaving Claire watching on the shore (not certain whether she really wanted to sail). Over lunch, the wind had freshened again, and the rain was back. The OD opted to send the fleet up to Scarness, which turned out to be a bit of a slog in the swell, followed by a less exciting race back down the following legs due to the wind swinging to the East, and helping the tail enders bunch up the fleet. Feeling wet and cold, the OD took pity on the fleet and shortened the race before sending them back up to Scarness in the freshening breeze. This gave Alan eyt another win, with Martyn Stephenson/Steve Hannah 2nd, Terry 3rd and Tim 4th.

Overall, Alan and his array of crews won, with Tim 2nd, Terry Hall 3rd and Simon 4th.

Although not part of the scheduled prizes, the results have also been calculated on a fleet handicap (and are shown below) and Steve Hunt emerged a convincing winner with four 1sts, Simon/Jon 2nd and Tim/Ian 3rd.