Matt Whitfield wins
Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy hosted the 6th event in the Gul 4.7 ladder series over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of March. The event was also the penultimate qualifier for the 4.7 Europeans and attracted 45 sailors.
The 4.7s shared the race area with the 420 Spring Championships, the 2 fleets sailed the same trapezoid course with the 4.7s sailing inner loop and the 420's outer loop.
On Saturday morning the fleet launched at 11 O'clock as planned, but the start was delayed as the PRO waited for about half an hour for the wind to fill in and settle.
Race one saw Danielle Thomas sail an excellent first beat to round the top mark in first position closely followed by Joe Woodley. Danielle managed to hold her lead down the run and most of the way up the second beat before losing it to Fraser Woodley. The lead changed several times during the race before Cliodhna O Regan from Ireland sailed a great final run to take the win with Joe Woodley coming home second.
In Race 2 most sailors favoured the port end of the line and headed left to make the most of the wind bend around the Bill. Mathew Whitfield and Fraser Woodley lead at the windward mark and had a close battle right to the finish with Matt taking the win, Fraser took second with Joe Woodley third and Georgia Booth fourth.
The wind increased to 17 or 18 knots for the start of race 3 and once again most of the sailors went for the left side of the beat. Matt Whitfield was first to the windward mark and steadily built his lead throughout the race to take his second win of the day from Joe Woodley in second with Sam Tweedle taking third place.
Sunday dawned with not a cloud in the sky, a perfect spring day for most people but not the 4.7 sailors. The wind was light and unsettled with regular shifts of 30-40 degrees making it very difficult for the race management team to set a course. The wind finally settled from the north for long enough to get the 4th and as it turned out last race away. Matt Whitfield was once again first to the windward mark and despite sailing in to a light patch on the run went on to make it 3 wins out of 4 races. Sam McKay had his best race of the weekend to finish second with Aisling Keller coming home in third.
The final results after a 4 race series with I discard were 1st Matt Whitfield, 2nd Joe Woodley, 3rd Fraser Woodley, 4th Sam Tweedle and 5th Georgia Booth.
Full results available here.
The 4.7 fleet would like to thank Gul for sponsoring the event and the support they provide to the class. Our thanks also to PRO Adrian Stoggall and the race management team for all their hard work.