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Open Handicap Meeting at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Nicola Bell 14 Sep 2012 10:48 BST 8-9 September 2012
Kielder Water juniors Ben Russell and Luke Stewart © Adrian Langford

34 boats from all over the country took to the water for Kielder Water Sailing Club’s open meeting, which included the Ospreys’ Travellers’ series and the Lasers’ Lakeland and Far North Grand Prix. The handicap fleet comprised a very eclectic range of boats, from the Vortex at the front to the Mirrors at the back. There was a good turnout from the Juniors in the Laser and handicap fleets.

On Saturday there was a F2-3 westerly wind which was a bit gusty (F5) but not shifty. So Peter Hawkin, the race officer, could set a triangle-sausage course for the Ospreys and Lasers, and a triangle for the handicap fleet and we completed 3 races.

However on Sunday (once the mist lifted and we could see where the lake was) the wind was very light. With the forecast for stronger winds by late morning, we started in a very light easterly, which immediately became all over the place, and the windward leg was from time to time a downwind leg – and the broad reach was often close–hauled.

Such light winds require particular skills and patience, and sometimes it is to the advantage of the slower boats, as the wind fills in. Ben Russell and Luke Stewart in their Mirror were first on corrected time in race 4.

By the start of the final race, the wind had increased according to the forecast and veered to SSW, so the marks were relaid and the fleets set off again. There was close racing throughout in all the fleets, throughout the weekend.

Sam Jones (Coniston SC) was 1st Junior, 1st Radial and 3rd overall in the Lasers. Stuart Belfield (Leigh & Lowton SC) was 1st overall and David Mantin (Berwick SC) was 2nd. It was very close at the top of the fleet with Stuart Belfield on 2 points and Sam Jones and David Mantin both with 4 points.

In the Ospreys, Viola and Mike Scott (KWSC) came in first place, with current National champions Gareth Caldwell and John Gibbons (Blithfield SC) just two points behind. In third place was Mike Pickering and Mike Prindle (Restronguet SC) with Rob Shaw and Ian Little (KWSC) on equal points.

The action in the handicap fleet was divided broadly between the Vortex, Rooster, Laser 3000, Flying Fifteen, and Solo (the fastest boats) at the front; two Miracles, a Byte CII, Feva and Comet in the middle, and the two Mirrors in close contention towards the back. Alec Glendinning (Vortex, Brampton SC) in the Vortex was first overall, with Richar Purdey (Rooster, Sunderland YC) in second and juniors Robbie Langford and James Nohl (Laser 3000, KWSC) in third place.

As always, this event could not take place without the dedication of the Race Officer and his team, the patrol team and the galley team who keep everyone well fed – and the bar manager’s plentiful provision of Great Heck beer.