Weston SC 30th-31st July 2011

It was a lovely weekend to go on holiday at Weston SC 30/31 July.

So lovely in fact that the wind decided to go elsewhere too on Saturday. Those that travelled were greeted by mirror calm conditions.

With a much better Sunday forecast in his back pocket, the race officer made an early call to abandon any hope of sailing on Saturday.

 

Sunday Morning arrived with a gentle 6-8kts and a band of hopeful Blaze sailors waiting to see if the locally predicted sea breeze was going to put in an appearance. We were sharing a course with the assymetric open, so with a little combined will power the sea breeze arrived on cue about 30 minutes prior to the first start.

Club officials made an announcement that part of the entry fee was to be refunded due to lack of sailing on the Saturday and 4 races were to be sailed on Sunday. Add this to sun, sparkling sea and 15kts of breeze and you have a happy bunch of sailors!

 

Race 1 started with a pin end bias and a race for the favoured (slightly) less tidal side of the course. Rob Jones won the pin and tacked near the lay line first closely followed by Kieron Holt and in a pattern that was to become familiar; Miles Mence chasing hard footing off slightly to keep his lighter weight driving through the chop created by the large fleet of assymetrics. Nobody could live with the upwind speed of Kieron in these conditions and he was first around the windward mark, with Rob chasing him down on the reach and run, while still trying to fend off Myles who found some extra speed downwind.

Rob then managed 2 errors in as many seconds. Sailing through a patch of weed is one thing but falling into the bottom of the boat and gybing while trying to clear it is definitely not fast! Myles needed no second invitation and disappeared in pursuit of Kieron. The positions stayed the same to the finish.

 

Race 2 saw Paul Taylor perferm a triple backflip and pike with his boat with only a minute to go. Where's the camera when you need it?! The race followed roughly the same pattern as the 1st with Kieron quickest upwind then Rob and Myles hunting him downwind. The final run saw Rob working hard with the waves to gain an inside overlap and take the race with Kieron and Myles in 2nd and 3rd.

 

Race 3 was the one that sorted the final results. Rob and Kieron rounded onto the final reach within 3 boat lengths of each other. Rob gaining the advantage by sailing over the top to gain an inside overlap that should have seen him take the race. Until the assymetric fleet became involved approaching from different angles. An RS400 and RS100 (sailed by a friend of both Rob and Kieron) battling for the mark completely split the Blazes. Rob went high and Kieron went low. The RS400 capsized on the mark leaving room for only 1 boat. Kieron seized his chance and sidled through. Myles also followed hot on Rob's heels. Three hoots on the line within 2 seconds of each other epitomised the closeness of the racing. Kieron had won, but none of us knew the order of second or third. Laurence Marshall put in a much improved performance to knock Nick Creak from his traditional 'leather medal' position in 4th.

 

So if Rob finished 2nd in Race 3 the mission was clear: Finish 1st with Kieron in 3rd or worse. If Rob had finished 3rd in race 3 he still needed to beat Myles to be assured of 2nd overall with Kieron winning.

 

Race 4 started in earnest at the top mark with the main three protagonists arriving together. Kieron opting for a wide rounding onto the run left the door open for Rob. Lots of work on the waves saw Rob through to a decent lead dragging Myles through with him. On the reach Rob extended his lead with Myles and Kieron suitably spaced behind. That was how it finished, with Nick back in his comfortable 4th spot.

 

So to the results....We didn't know until the race officer read out the results what the final result was.

Kieron deservedly took the meeting with a show of consistent speed around the course, but especially upwind. With his boat now fully fettled and not needing attention between races as at the nationals, he must surely be one to watch at the Inland champs at Bala later in the year. Congratulations!

 

Our thanks go to Weston SC for running a great event (and providing great conditions). Also to Mike Jarman for exceptional speed at getting the races turned around and started.

 

RESULTS:

 

Rank                        Name                                Race1            Race2            Race3            Race4            Net Points

1                        Kieron Holt                                  1                    2                    1                 (3)                    4

2                        Rob Jones                                  (3)                  1                     3                  1                     5

3                        Myles Mence                               2                   3                     2                  2                     6

4                        Nick Creak                                   4                   4                    5                   4                    12

5                        David Entwistle                             5                   5                    7                (DNC)                17

6                        Robert Dunkley                            (6)                  6                    6                   5                    17

7                        Laurence Marshall                         8               (DNC)                 4                   6                    18

8                        Paul Taylor                                   7               (DNC)               DNC              DNC                  25