Well done to David Jessop and Sophie Mear on winning the 2021 SEAS Open at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club.
It was a light wind day that must put off those travelling a long distance. But, 9 boats and crew did come to the club ready to race. All entrants were greeted with the traditional warm welcome from the race team and the catering team provided the complimentary bacon butties. It wasn't long before all the boats were up and on the reservoir. The race officer set a standard windward leeward course, which he then reset a few times as the light winds moved between the southwest and south. After a short while he finally sounded the start sequence only to abandon the start 30 seconds later as the wind took yet another big shift towards the southeast.
The morning saw 2 races. The first was set as just 2 laps of the course as the wind was just about strong enough to allow the boats to sail. There was a tricky rounding at the windward mark as the light breeze got caught over the dam wall, this caught out a few of the trail enders but the experienced helms and crews at the front of the fleet safely rounded, launched spinnakers and headed back down to the gate marks. The first race was won by David Jessop and Sophie Mear followed by Julian Bradley and Helen Cafferata. Nigel and Andy Bird to the third spot. The wind increased slightly for the second race so the race team set 3 laps. All the boats got away first time and with the increase in wind speed the rounding at the top of the course became easier. Island Barn's Andy Bennet, sailing with Lynne Ratcliffe from Pevensey Bay SC, took the lead which they held to the finish. David and Sophie came in second with Julian and Helen in third.
All teams the came in after the second race for a hot lunch in the clubhouse. As forecast the wind picked up a little in time for the start of the afternoon's three races. David & Sophie, Andy & Lynne and Julian & Helen battled out the afternoon with some tight racing. By the time of the last race the winner could come from either David & Sophie or Andy & Lynne. It was all down to race 5 which David & Sophie held there nerves to beat Andy and Lynne into second place. Tom Hirst & Joe Sutton-Jones finished the day with a well won third place in the final race.
The teams packed up then made their way back to the clubhouse for afternoon teas and scones, but I did notice a few beers being served too. The prizes from Sacred Spirit were awarded and David reminded everyone next week would be finale of the SEAS at Frensham Pond SC (Saturday October 30th).
Some picture from the day are beneath, a full set of photo from the day are here