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Leader Open at Rollesby Broad Sailing Club

by Ian Ayres on 17 Jul 2013 13-14 July 2013

A new venue for the Leader Class on a gloriously warm weekend at Rollesby Broad Sailing Club.

Saturday saw two 'bottle' races; with the offer of a bottle of wine for the winner of each race it was the Morses, Roger and Cybil who were hot off the blocks at both starts. In race 1 Chris and Jane Wharmby followed by Rollesby Commodore Ian Ayres and his wife Sharon both chose the left side of the first beat with the Ayres emerging to win despite the Morses chasing them down at the end.The Morses were not to be kept from the wine as they led almost from start to finish in the second race with the fleet spread around the broad as the wind became more puffy and wholly to take their first ever open race win!

After a class social on the Saturday night there were one or two very tired sailors on the start line for the Sunday open meeting. In race 1 the Ayres took the leeward end of the line and got to the first mark in front, they were closely followed by the father and son teams of Roger and Archie Wilson and Andy and Robbie Hobson. The Ayres showed their favouritism for light winds as they slowly sailed away from the pack, it was the Wharmbys sailing low down the longest reach and under the pack who took second.

Race 2 looked like a possible family affair as Andy and Robbie led off pursued by John Parker crewed by Anne Hobson who had joined the fleet after arriving too late for race 1.The fleet split up the first beat and it was the Ayres, who having taken the extreme right, benefitted most from the breeze filling in on that side to take the win with the Morses showing great boat speed to recover to second place after a poor start.

The Leaders always search for anything slightly out of the ordinary and so the afternoon's non-discardable Eels Foot race to the neighbouring broad and back could still prove decisive. With an initial beat the full 1km length of the broad to the cut every boat in the fleet led at some point but as they split on the final approach it was the Ayres close tacking which allowed them to break clear as the rest of the fleet slowed each other in the narrows. The weed in the Eels Foot Broad proved tricky to avoid and clear air was advantageous. Home advantage appeared to pay as the Ayres built a commanding lead with the Wharmby's second followed home closely by the Hobson boy's team.

Fittingly this was also the order of the final overall positions for the day.

Overall Results:

1. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby Broad SC)
2. Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes SC)
3. Andy & Robbie Hobson (Hickling Broad SC)
4. Roger & Cybil Morse (Welwyn Garden City SC)
5. John Parker & Anne Hobson (HBSC)
6. Roger & Archie Wilson (Shoreham YC)

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