36 boats gathered at Blithfield SC for the first standalone Craftinsure Silver Tiller event of 2012. The late start meant competitors were greeted with spring like sunshine, and what looked like a nice force two which lulled everyone into a sense of false security as the day developed into one of the most bizarre that your correspondent has ever sailed in!
Race one got off cleanly, and the fleet were lead around the first mark by Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis. The breeze at this point was relatively steady, but there were massive gains to be made if you picked the bends correctly. Gorringe and Lewis held onto their lead to win the race, followed home by Dan Willet and Pete Nicholson all the way from Brightlingsea. Richard Adams and Chris Gould came in third.
Race two is probably best remembered for how many ways the conditions can torture a race officer. Initially a highly port biased line lead to a general recall and a restart under black flag. In the last 30 seconds to the restart it was apparent that the committee boat was the place to be. This lead to a number of BFDs. The swinging breeze never kicked back around to the left and some boats managed to get to the first mark in one, led by Paul and Michelle Keeling. It all looked cut and dried after one leg, but the wind had not done with us yet. Half way down what was supposed to be a run, in not a lot of wind a massive wind shift and a force 4-5 with heavy rain came in from nowhere and turned the fleet inside out. This race was won by the Adams/Gould team, with Andy Davies and Tom Pygall second.
Race three. Again this started in not a lot of breeze, which died off to pretty much nothing halfway up the first beat. About half the fleet headed right to get closer to some ominous looking clouds, but having tempted us with a sudden blast earlier on the breeze was not to materialise until later. Those who picked their way up the left did the best, and three home boats rounded first Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis leading with Steve/Ben Hendon and Chris Martin/Matt Smith in hot pursuit. The clouds headed closer and the wind did fill in just as the lead pack got around the second mark, luckily for the leaders this was not disastrous as they shot away while the bunch behind took each other's wind. Biggs/Hollis held onto their lead, with the fleet newcomers Steve/Ben Hendon also holding onto second place. Another newcomer to the fleet Chris Jennings crewed by Liese Scott came in third.
Overall the Midland team of Richard Adams and Chris Gould took the GKN Trophy. Our thanks go to everyone who helped run the event, and especially to Jon Batt and Nick Broomhall in the committee boat who must have been having kittens pretty much all day! Hopefully the weather for the Inlands in September will be kinder. We look forward to welcoming the fleet back.
More of Belinda Mason's photos on Flickr
|1||3650||Rich Adams||Chris Gould||Midland||3||1||(DNS)||4|
|2||3712||Jon Gorringe||Toby Lewis||Parkstone||1||‑4||4||5|
|3||3644||Steve Hendon||Ben Hendon||Blithfield||4||‑10||2||6|
|4||3627||Dan Willet||Peter Nicholson||Brightlingsea||2||‑5||5||7|
|5||3658||Chris Jennings||Liese Scott||Burghfield||‑9||6||3||9|
|6||3583||Chris Martin||Matt Smith||Blithfield||5||‑11||6||11|
|7||3684||Andy Davis||Tom Pygall||Blithfield||10||2||(DNF)||12|
|8||3735||David Winder||Rory Mackenzie||Hollingworth||6||7||(DNC)||13|
|9||3732||Tom Jeffcoate||Ben Rayner||Notts County||7||8||(DNC)||15|
|10||3565||Paul Keeling||Michelle Keeling||Blithfield||12||3||‑13||15|
|11||3730||Paul Hollis||James Dawes||Blithfield||‑15||9||7||16|
|12||3510||Mike Raine||Jane Hill||Rudyard Lake||8||‑15||9||17|
|13||3722||Matt Biggs||Ben Hollis||Blithfield||17||(OCS)||1||18|
|14||3339||Tim Male||Rebecca Male||Blithfield||11||(DNF)||8||19|
|15||3617||Tom Chadfield||Andy Chadfield||Blithfield||13||13||(DNC)||26|
|16||3701||Steve Hunt||Ruth Hunt||Pilkington||‑18||17||10||27|
|17||3719||Mike Partridge||Claire Davis||Hayling Island||‑25||18||12||30|
|18||3663||Chris Haworth||Jo Harvey||Blackpool and Fleetwood||14||16||(DNS)||30|
|19||3645||Jeremy Deacon||Joanna Deacon||Cookham||‑26||22||11||33|
|20||3581||Mark Reddington||Colin Staite||Bartley||22||12||(DNC)||34|
|21||3705||Geoff Wright||Katie Wright||Blithfield||‑23||19||15||34|
|22||3610||Richard Dee||Chris Winters||Midland||20||(OCS)||14||34|
|23||3402||Rob Kennaugh||Abi Spurr||Blithfield||21||14||(DNC)||35|
|24||3508||Colin Anderson||Sean Anderson||Redditch||‑31||20||16||36|
|25||3680||Steve Watson||Phil Scott||Midland||19||23||(DNS)||42|
|27||3547||Peter Male||Luke Tucker||Blithfield||‑28||26||18||44|
|28||3619||Guy Browns||Tommi Cluley||Trent Valley||24||21||(DNF)||45|
|30||3548||Kieron Mason||Henry Mason||Blithfield||‑30||29||20||49|
|31||3533||Russell Brayshaw||Nicola Wilkinson||Hollowell||‑35||28||21||49|
|32||3518||Julian Harris||Samuel Harris||Midland||27||24||(DNC)||51|
|33||3723||Robert Line||Peter||Hill Head||16||(OCS)||(DNC)||53|
|34||3653||Chris Brown||M Williams||‑||33||(DNC)||(DNC)||70|
|35||3346||Ian Mackenzie||Angela Mackenzie||Blithfield||34||(DNF)||(DNC)||71|
|36||3716||Steve Leney||Gill Leney||Blithfield||(DNC)||(DNC)||(DNC)||74|