Photo © Martin Jarvis
The King George Sailing Club Solo Open on 4th May, brought out only top of the class sailors, who battled against F4 conditions and huge gusts rampaging across the large open expanse of King George Reservoir. Dark clouds tumbled across the leaden skies, and the flash of lightening was seen north of the club.
Not put off, race one got a clean start, albeit missing Godfrey Clark who was charging back from the jetty after recovering missing safety equipment. The beat to the windward mark was a closely fought contest, with no preferred side of the leg. But quickly Paul Rayson, who was 'flying', pulled away from the fleet, finishing lap 3 nearly two minutes in front of 2nd place Steve Ede.
Race 2 introduced a broad reach to mark number 7. Members of KGSC are well accustomed to the monsters that reside in that dark corner of the lake and true to form the fleet took casualties at the mark, keeping John Kennedy and Martin Jarvis busy in the rescue boat. The advantage went to KGSC, and local sailor Tony Cooper battled hard against Steve Ede to take the race at the finish line with only a boats length between them.
Lunch afforded all competitors a well need break from the brutal conditions. The wind dropped and expectations for a close final race rose, with Paul Rayson, Steve Ede and Tony Cooper all on 4 points.
As the wind swung from SW to S, the experienced race officers (Keith Humphreys shore-side, Rodger White and Mike Keates on the committee boat) changed the windward mark, and replaced mark 7 with 5, in an attempt to introduce a second beat on the course. Another good start by all (with no one lagging behind) The race was on. The leg from buoy 10 to 5, changed from a beat to a fetch and back to beat again. The wind increased and tightened its grip on the nerves. The gybe at 10 took more casualties as the fleet approached sailing down to it on the lee in big gusts. Jarvis Simpson moved up through the fleet closely chasing Tony.C and James Ross pulled away from Patrick Overs lower down. Eventually the conditions proved too much for Barry Longman, Robert Laurie and Mike Clark, who'd been fighting all day, and all three finally gave up the chase in buffeting winds and retired.
Hats off to all competitors!
|2||5181||Paul Rayson||Fishers Green SC||1||3||4||4|
|3||5225||Steve Ede||Ardleigh SC||2||2||3||4|
|5||5281||James Ross||Hamble River YC||4||5||5||9|
|7||5138||Patrick Overs||Paxton Lakes||7||8||6||13|
|8||4803||Godfrey Clark||Fishers Green SC||8||7||11||15|
|9||4931||Mike Clarke||N.Herts & E. Beds||10||9||10||19|
|10||5329||Barry Longman||Fishers Green SC||9||11||10||19|