The windy conditions deterred a few of the senior citizens but 15 boats took to the water for the IBRSC Solo Open, evenly split between eight locals and seven visitors.
Race Officer John Smith gave his usual stern warning about black flags but with good start lines and plenty of wind the fleet got away at the first attempt with just one needing to return. At the windward mark Godfrey Clark led with Mike Dray and Paul Playle in close pursuit. Down the first reach Gareth Griffiths found a good puff to leeward and showed good speed to come out of the pack close behind the leading three. On the sausage Gareth moved up to third then on the next beat he found a good lift to overtake Godfrey and Mike who were having a close fight. Once through Gareth pulled away from Mike Dray who established a clear second from Paul and Mark Ampleford with Godfrey dropping back.
Race two and Gareth got off to a great start taking an early tack to cross the fleet. Mark Ampleford was hot on his heels and the race became a close duel between these two who pulled away from Tim Lewis and Mike Dray with the wind easing a bit towards the end. There was rarely more than a few lengths between Gareth and Mark but the positions remained unchanged.
While the fleet enjoyed their Chilli in the clubhouse the wind was perking up again with sustained gusts of over 25 knots.
So race three and all to play for… The wind was now blowing much harder bringing new players to the lead at the first mark with Dave Griffiths and CJ Cavalari leading but Gareth was on their heels. By the leeward mark Gareth had pulled through CJ to second and reveling in the stronger conditions he soon pulled through to take an unassailable lead with Mike Dray working through the fleet to finish second.
Race four and Gareth decided he’d opt to spectate. Mike Dray took an early lead to dominate the race. Behind him there was a lot of place changing with second variously held by Tim Jackson and Tim Lewis before Dave Griffiths showed he’s getting to grips with the brand new boat taking second at the finish from Mark Ampleford.
So overall Gareth retained the trophy with three bullets from Mike Dray counting a first and two seconds with Mark Ampleford third and Paul Playle fourth. With the top six boats all doing the winter series at Island Barn competition is going to be quite fierce! Paul Hurn took the Over 60 prize and Chris Biscomb the old boat trophy.
Here are the full results.
All Photos © Jim Champ
If you'd like copies of photos I took from the event you can email me here, but my enthusiasm for trawling through 400 odd photos to email out a selection is not unlimited - a SAE and a USB stick/SD card (SD cards are better 'cos they are easier to get into a PO max letter thickness package) with 1GB free coming to me in the post is my preferred route and you can have the whole lot, or for local sailors there are copies on the club laptop.