Solo Open at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club, July 9th 2011
After the monsoons and storms earlier in the week no-one knew for sure what the weather would do, but Saturday dawned bright and sunny with moderately fresh westerly wind. Twenty-three boats with twelve visitors and eleven local sailors contested the Open Meeting in the Thames Valley Solo circuit.
The wind proved quite shifty with some good planing conditions – enough wind to cause a few early baths. Race Office Paul Wright-Anderson set a traditional Olympic course – triangle – sausage - triangle style with the start and finish close to the start of the beat.
In the first race local sailor Gareth Griffiths came out of the traps fast a lot further down the line than most of the fleet, but on the first shift he crossed the fleet and apart from a few anxious moments on the run when the fleet behind had a good gust he sailed a clean race to take the gun. Behind though the action was intense with the next few boats never more than a few lengths apart. After much place swapping Iain McGregor (Salcombe) took second from Michael Dray (Littleton) with last years winner Daniel Goodman down in an unaccustomed sixth.
After the usual excellent lunch break there would be two races back to back. This time Vanda Jowett (Littleton) led after the first lap chased by Mike Dray, Gareth and Daniel. Dan chased the leaders down impressively working the shifts up the beat through to lead down the second sausage where Gareth took a quick dip – amazingly not losing a place. The first three ended as Dan Goodman, Vanda Jowett and Mike Dray with Gareth fourth, so all to play for in the last race.
Race three again saw Gareth start well down the line footing fast of to the left while Vanda went right. Amazingly both sides seemed to pay with Gareth coming into the windward mark on port with just enough lead to tack. By the end of the triangle it was the tussle for the top, Gareth from Dan from Vanda.
The race was won (and lost) on the beat at the start of the second triangle when a big port tack lift came in lifting Dan to level and then ahead of Gareth. Vanda closed but then the places stretched away as the race went on for Dan to take the trophy again with his second bullet from Gareth and Vanda with Iain McGregor forth.
Island Barn added two extra prizes – first grand master (over sixty) in 9th Keith Mills from King George and first ‘old boat’ – (built in the last century) CJ Cavallari from Island Barn in 14th.