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Virtual Rigger Solo Open at Littleton Sailing Club

by Dan Goodman on 2 Apr 2014 29 March 2014

Twenty-nine boats entered the 2014 Virtual Rigger Solo Open at Littleton SC. Before going afloat all talk was on the weather, the sun was out, it reached 18 degrees and we had wind. Almost as soon as boats were lining up for race 1 it was obvious that the conditions were not as benign as they seemed with the South Easterly as shifty and gusty as they come making very challenging sailing. A long start line and big shifts made starting at either end a lottery but one that would eventually pay for the winner.

Race 1 and a small left hand shift saw most of the fleet tack onto port. A larger left shift saw the leaders come in from the left, Dan Goodman leading from Vince Horey around the first mark, these two pulling out a little lead and fighting for the win. Behind the wind shifts and gusts were taking their toll with endless place changing, contested mark roundings and the odd capsize. Simon Derham led the pursuit in his first race in his first Solo pulling away from the chasing battle that saw Alan Bishop take 4th.

Race 2 saw the same evil conditions as race 1. Once again Dan Goodman managed to lead around the first mark but this time with Mike Dray leading the pursuit. Half way through the first lap Littleton boats were in the first 6 places with Vince Horey trying to make up for a difficult first leg. Mike closed in a couple of times but never managed to take the lead, these 2 being followed home by Tim Lewis and Adam Raeburn-James.

Race 3 saw a slightly changed course to try and improve the wind on the 2nd beat, but if anything the wind was getting even shiftier as the gradient wind slowly eased. Once again Dan led at the first mark but was almost immediately passed down the next run by Vince who retained the lead to the finish. These 2 gapped the chasing fleet with Mike Dray once again leading the pursuit followed home by Julian Rickards.

Race 4 and Vince needed a race win to take the meeting. He decided to start at the pin while Dan started mid line. Off the start a big right shift meant Vince looked well behind and forced out to the left layline when a big left shift came in and the leaders once again came in from the left. Richard Hudson picked the shifts perfectly and led around the first mark followed by Julian, Vince not far behind and Dan several boats further back. Julian and Vince slowly overhauled Richard and exchanged places several times before Vince pulled out a gap. Dan was slowly making forward progress but was too far behind to challenge for the win.

This left Vince from King George SC winner of the trophy followed by Littleton helms Dan, Mike, Tim and Julian. Simon from Virtual Rigger awarded the generously donated prizes for the event to the top 3, leading Grand Master Mike Wilkie, and the competitors award was given to the lightest helm Debbie Robertshaw for her never say die attitude.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1stVince HoreyKing George SC54752‑5114
2ndDan GoodmanLittleton SC482011‑224
3rdMike DrayLittleton SC4386623‑1711
4thTim LewisLittleton SC5168‑1535614
5thJulian RickardsLittleton SC51879‑144316
6thAlan BishopGirton54974‑98416
7thVanda JowettLittleton SC51267‑166821
8thSimon DerhamLittleton SC53933812‑1423
9thAdam Raeburn‑JamesLittleton SC4489‑14491124
10thRichard HudsonBough Beech4899‑181010525
11thPaul PlayllIsland Barn SC5466‑19711927
12thTerry PalmerUpper Thames SC49045‑13131331
13thSteve JonesLittleton SC47418(DNS)16731
15thAndrew BoycePapercourt SC511516‑1771033
14thJon JowettLittleton SC510212615‑1633
16thGodfrey ClarkFishers Green SC44461112(DNC)1235
17thDavid WalfordRYA5320131114‑1538
18thEd PepperLittleton SC4851‑2418171853
19thAndy SavellSalcombe YC5303171918(DNS)54
20thPaul HurnLittleton SC4758‑2520201959
21stTony CookLittleton SC4256‑2621192060
22ndDavid SandersHISC467920(DNF)212162
23rdDebbie RobertshawLittleton SC510‑2822232267
24thPhil SturmerRoyal Burnham YC53732315(DNF)DNS68
25thMartin JarvisKing George SC3982‑2723222368
26thWill LoyRYA110210(DNF)DNSDNS70
27thMike WilkieLittleton SC535221(DNF)DNSDNS81
28thClaire ClarkFishers Green SC501222(DNF)DNSDNS82
29thRichard CambrookLittleton SC4761(DNF)DNSDNSDNS90

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