A light breeze and glorious sunshine welcomed the 16 boats to the Middle Nene SC RS200 Open Meeting. Many competitors had taken part in the excellent training session run by Trudie Fell the day before so were eager to put all the top tips they gained into practice.
A windward /leeward course was set and Race 1 got underway without a hitch. Matt Yallop from Middle Nene took an early lead, tacking early off the line onto port and made the windward mark first. However, due to him failing to notice a slightly high spacer mark and the consequent aborted spinnaker hoist, he was caught by and eventually overtaken downwind by local rivals Mark Hatsell and Rob Ashman in 499 and Paul & Hazel Williamson from Staunton Harold in 1026. The rest of the race cumulated in a tight battle between 499 and 1026 with Mark and Rob eventually taking the win.
For the second race a slightly larger course was set. 1026 took an early lead, hotly pursued by 499. Another close battle developed with Mark and Rob eventually taking the lead across the line.
After an excellent lunch of soup and tiger bread, the fleet set out again for the 3rd race. The wind was still fairly light with the occasional gust filling in at various points on the course. This race saw a battle for the lead between local sailors Matt and Debbie in 358 and Mark and Rob in 499. The positions changed several times with Matt eventually crossing line in 1st, a few of seconds ahead.
Matt again started well in the 4th race with a seemingly huge lead going into the second lap. Patrick Elcombe and Sarah Long in 568 also got off to a good start. However, after the 2nd beat it had all changed and a new lead group consisting of Paul and Hazel Williamson in 1026, Mo and Amy Allen in 997 and James Mead and Vicona Knight in 1262 spit from the rest of the pack and were not to be caught again for the rest of the race. James Mead eventually took pole position across the line after a close battle with the other two boats.
A special mention must go to little Amy Allen. Not only was she the youngest competitor by far, but she also didn’t stop smiling all weekend!
1st Mark Hatsell and Rob Ashman 499 (Middle Nene SC)
2nd Paul & Hazel Williamson 1026 (Staunton Harold SC)
3rd Matt Yallop & Debbie Walkerdon 358 (Middle Nene SC)
4th James Mead and Vicona Knight 1262 (MNSC/Fishers Green SC)
5th Andy & Karen Connellan 255 (Middle Nene SC)