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Charity Event and Racing at Blithfield Sailing Club

By Chris Martin on 9 Nov 2011 6 November 2011

38 boats came to enjoy a pleasant sail at Blithfield SC to raise money for the League of Friends Garden Suite Chemotherapy Centre based in Redditch. A party on the Saturday night raised over £1000, and this was evident by the number of sore heads and comatose sailors on the Sunday morning. A large inflatable "object" dangling from the club ceiling also gave a clue as to the good time that was had by all!

The format for the day was three Pursuit races, and a pleasant force three made it apparant that - course permitting - it was anybody's day. From the off it seemed that Peter Tait and Peter Jaques in their GP14 were going to be hard to catch, but much was expected of the club's strong Merlin fleet and Andy Davies, crewed by Tom "Stallion" Pygall charged away from the pack to pass everyone by the end of the second lap.

The second race was held more or less back to back with the first, with slightly more breeze as boats started and a slightly modified course to suit the swinging wind. This gradually died away as the race went on, which did not help the faster boats at all. Peter Tait and Peter Jaques had charged ahead and looked uncatchable for a long time, however Taxi and Tom had again separated themselves from the rest of the Merlins and were on a determined charge. They passed the GP14 with about two seconds to go, winning by about two feet. Club veterans Bill Watson and Margaret Boyson sailed a brilliant race to come third also in a GP14, Jack Hayhurst was fourth in his Solo.

Karen Hollis prepared an excellent meal, and the fed fleet returned to the water though the dying wind and in some cases hangovers had reduced the fleet. Laurence Key in his 2.4 took an enormous lead from his early start, and looked uncatchable. However with 20 minutes to go the gaggle of boats behind started to look threatening and he was eventually passed by five boats to finish 6th. Taxi and Tom again took line honours, followed By Peter and Peter in the GP14. Richard Adams and Chris Gould came in third, just beating Bill and Margaret in the GP.

Thanks go to the Hollis family for organising the event, Race officers Chris Martin, Paul Hollis and Dan Morgan with Roger Ellis and John Reay manning the safety boat. Karen Hollis and her helpers kept everyone fed, and Paul Hodkinson looked after the Bar. Margaret Boyson looked after the results. Sponsors for the event were Allen Bros, Selden and MF Promotions who were more than generous with the prizes. This Sunday sees the start of the Barrel series, we're hoping to follow the last few weekends with another bumper turnout and excellent racing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClassHelmCrewR1RsR3Pts
13684Merlin RocketAndy DavisTom Pygall1112
214039GP14Peter JacquesPeter Tate8224
33650Merlin RocketRichard AdamsChris Gould2835
413976GP14Bill WatsonMargaret Boyson 347
53716Merlin RocketSteven LeneyGill Leney65611
63722Merlin RocketMatt BiggsBen Hollis310 13
63565Merlin RocketPaul KeelingMichelle Keeling76813
81175RS400Ben HendonSteve Hendon4121014
82523LarkMartin WeatherstoneJulie Moore97714
105143SoloJack Hayhurst 1441418
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