The weekend of 10/11 July at Wilsonian was the setting for the Vortex SE Championships, part of the MTS sponsored Medway regatta. As usual the Medway did us proud with stunning sailing conditions and excellent race management.
The first race started with a fairly light breeze and as the fleet set off downriver Alan Grant gradually pulled out a commanding lead that the chasing asymmetrics could not break down. He was chased home by Jonathan Carter with the rest of the fleet close behind.
Once we got going after a false start or two in the afternoon the wind had picked up a notch or two and swung slightly more south allowing the kites to really come into play. Jonathan flew off the line hotly pursued by Phil Harris, Mike Gower and Simon Raglione- Hall. At the next mark Jonathan went low, Mike and Simon went high. Simon was on the limit of control (probably the wrong side most of the time) but somehow stayed upright and flew along before turning onto the downwind leg where Mike sneaked past underneath and built a good lead. However on the second beat Jonathan hung on closer inshore and managed to sail past Mike; these positions held till the end with Alan coming in third ahead of the chasing asymmetrics.
Saturday evening there were tales of fast reaches and other daring efforts whilst all enjoyed the Hog roast and the variety of drinks on offer; certain members of the fleet were obviously saving themselves for the Sunday whilst others carried on late into the night regardless.
Sunday morning and the forecast 10 mph was definitely a lot stronger; race on !! Mike powered into the lead not daring to take his eyes off where he was going till reaching the downwind turning mark by which time he had a commanding lead. The downwind leg was fast and furious, Wilsonian sailing at its best! Coming into the windward mark for the last time Phil and Simon had caught Mike; Phil tacked in front of Mike who ducked below and powered for the mark but Simon was piling in on starboard. In the ensuing mayhem (all caught on camera I’m assured) Mike capsized on top of Phil and Simon took the lead and had enjoyed the downwind leg so much decided to go back to the leeward mark again. Jonathan could barely contain his mirth as he passed the tangle of Vortexes and headed to the finish to take another victory with Phil second and Mike third.
The wind was still up for the last race but this time it was Alan who lead to the leeward mark. He unfortunately capsized on the beat allowing Mike into the lead which he then held till the end; Jonathan was catching him and was determined to add another bottle for winning a race but pushed too hard with the kite up and capsized approaching the last turn.
1. Jonathan Carter (Rickmansworth SC)
2. Mike Gower (Wilsonian SC)
3. Alan Grant (Deben YC)
4. Phil Harris (Wilsonian SC)
5. Simon Raglione-Hall (Grafham Water SC)
6. Stephen Carr (Brightlingsea SC)
7. Ian Watson (Wilsonian SC)
8. Dave Mason (Wilsonian SC)