The Rugby and Daventry SC Solo Open on 22nd May saw eight hardy helms attend for the sixth meeting in the 2011 Midland Solo series.
Once again we chose a warm and sunny day for our Open but the wind of 30mph, gusting to 45mph, proved a struggle for all the helms that turned out.
In race one the whole fleet safely rounded the first mark and stayed upright but this changed by the gybe mark with half the fleet taking a swim. The leading boat for the first lap was Ian Harridge with Jon Clarke close by. Jon managed to get through to take the gun for the first race, as the finish gun sounded there were 4 to 5 boats upside down; the rescue teams were very busy.
In race two the OD’s reduced the race time to 40 minutes max, a popular move. The strong South West wind caused havoc near buildings. Mike Dray led the fleet for the first lap, followed by Jon Clarke and Ian Harridge. In this race everyone capsized at least once, with the finishing order being Mike, Jon and Ian.
In race three the wind had not eased but to their credit all eight helms turned up on the start line. After the first lap Jon Clarke had a 200yd lead which he held to the finish. Andrew Liddington had a good start and held on to second place for a spell giving the local sailors some cheer until he took a swim. Allan Atack had a spectacular capsize coming out past the pontoon, in trying to right his boat he put his foot through the sail. The rescue team managed to unthread him and get him safely ashore. Only three boats finished the last race, 5 retired. Jon Clarke took the gun followed by Mike Dray and Keith Lancaster.
1. Jon Clarke - 4748
2. Mike Dray - 4386
3. Ian Harridge - 5147
4. Keith Lancaster - 4878
5. Andy Thurston – 3464
6. Andrew Liddington – 4771
7. Norman Clark – 4274
8. Allan Atack – 5019