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Open and Dam to Dam Challenge at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Nicola Bell on 17 May 2011 14-15 May 2011
Rob Shaw and Ian Little win the Kielder Water Open and are second in the Dam to Dam Challenge © Paul Turnbull

Kielder Water Sailing Club' Spring open meeting brought 12 visiting boats to join club members for some demanding racing in a westerly force 5-6 wind. Race Officer Paddy Lewis set triangle/sausage courses with four races in the allotted time. The conditions were demanding with numerous capsizes, various amounts of damage and several retirements. Four races allowed one discard, leaving Kielder's Rob Shaw and Ian Little (Osprey) with three firsts to win overall. The five visiting Javelins were given their own results with Richard and Kathryn Smith (Southwold SC) in first place, Ben Fisher and Ben Chapman (Southwold SC) in second and Chris and Nick Davies (Carsington SC) in third. The remaining handicap fleet had Angus Winchester's Vortex (Castle Semple SC) in second place and third was Alec Glendinning, also in a Vortex (Brampton SC). Special mention goes to the only Junior to venture out, KWSC's Anna Baker.

Sunday morning dawned to a moderate breeze and full English breakfast, both of which were very welcome to the weary limbs and sore heads from the previous day's and evening's extreme exertions. The perfect dinghy racing breeze saw a full turn out of visiting sailors and some club boats with a total of sixteen boats going to the line. Any drizzle felt on the foreshore was soon forgotten as crews became fully engaged with the long beat up to Leaplish, the fetch to Plashetts turned into an interesting kite reach and as the two KWSC Ospreys found their stride they began to stretch out the fleet. Rounding Gowanburn mark at the head of the lake became a combination of the lucky and simply skilled finding their way through the shifts while the mere mortals further back wondered at the mysteries of eddy theory. Musto skiffs and Ospreys emerged to lead the long and enjoyable kite run to the Dam harried by the leading Javelins as other groups of Javelins match raced each other in pursuit. The fleet emerged into the main body of the lake to savour a freshening breeze to the Dam and after beating up to the Clubhouse on to a rounding at Wickhope and as it was so much fun the first time another chance to shake the kites out back to the Dam for the last time. As ever the Dam to Dam proved an excellent test of, skill, perseverance, endurance and above all good humour, special mention must go to those taking part in single handers who without the assistance of a buddy in the boat doubly needed all of these attributes.

Winner of the Dam to Dam Challenge was Alistair Conn (Musto Skiff, Derwent Reservoir SC), second was Ian Shaw and Rob Little (Osprey, KWSC) and third was Viola and Mike Scott (Osprey, KWSC).

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