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Osprey Open at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Alan Henderson on 8 May 2014 3-5 May 2014

The Osprey class launched its new Lakes and Borders Regional Series in light breezes at Kielder Water SC on May 3/4. The Series is sponsored by Creation Covers.

Race Officer Rob Shaw sent off the fleet within a big handicap fleet, which included similar boats Flying Dutchmen and Merlins plus a mix of singlehanders and asymmetrics. The Ospreys enjoyed close racing within their fleet as well as often vying with the FDs and Merlins.

The fleet enjoyed a treble chance of success, competing simultaneously in this big all class handicap fleet, within the new grouping the Scottish Symmetrics, which is for any symmetric class of PY under 1000 and included Ospreys, Merlins and FDs, and lastly within the Osprey class. This event attracted Northern Ospreys, while the Southern ones were competing at Mounts Bay. Racing was on trapezoid courses both days, in light and shifty conditions.

Local heroine Viola Scott was the bookies' favourite going into the event with her knowledge of the shifts and windy patches of Kielder. However the close attentions of the Merlins, while no doubt flattering, seemed to put her in a tizzy, and her efforts to escape their close attentions even led her to start early on one occasion. One Merlin in particular seemed to hunt her down relentlessly, as he sought to cast his magic spell on our local heroine.

Prestwick's Alan Henderson and Alastair Barrie on the other hand decided that a spot of FD hunting might be fun, and when not fending off their fellow Ospreys, devoted considerable time to hanging out with the FDs, not always entirely to the delight of the FDs. Henderson and Barrie started the weekend well with three bullets on the Saturday, with the bewitched Viola and Mike Scott trying to best Alec Mamwell/ Ian Little while not trying to escape Merlins.

On the Sunday, breezes perked up a little, and John and Caz Mills also popped up in the top three in the first race. New combo Willie Crichton and Ian Wilkinson enjoyed their outing, with the lightweight Ian swearing he was trapezing most of the time on both days, while others sat in and prayed for more wind. Viola and Mike Scott made a brief escape from the Merlins' rough wooing to take a windier middle race to pip Alec Mamwell/ Ian Little for second overall, but wins in the other two races helped Alan Henderson and Alistair Barrie to clinch their victory overall.

A separate event, the long distance Dam to Dam race, was held on the Monday Bank holiday, with some new boats entering and some departing. In the absence of the Merlin, the spell seemed to be broken, and Viola and Mike Scott showed their knowledge of the lake's corners to take first place in their Osprey. They even overcompensated for the weekend's bewitchment, by also taking line honours, beating both FDs, as well as the rest of the 30 boat fleet across the line. Four Ospreys were among the prizewinners. The Dam to Dam race was sponsored by The Great Heck Brewing Company.

Next event for the Ospreys is the Welsh & Midlands Championship at Tata SC on May 17/18. This will also be the launch event for the new South Wales Regional Series. The following weekend there will be a visit to Coniston SC on May 24-26, for an event which counts for both the Wilkinson Sword National Series, and for the Lakes & Borders Regional Series.

Osprey Class Results: (3-4 May)

1. Alan Henderson & Alastair Barrie, Prestwick SC, 5pts
2. Viola and Mike Scott, Kielder Water SC, 11pts
3. Alec Mamwell and Ian Little, Coniston SC and Kielder Water SC, 12pts

Scottish Symmetrics Results:
1. Henderson & Barrie, Osprey, 7pts
2. Steve Hunt & Ruth Critchley, Merlin, Pilkington SC & Bass SC, 8pts
3. Mamwell & Little, Osprey, 18pts

Dam to Dam Race: (5 May)

1. Viola & Mike Scott, Osprey, Kielder Water SC in 1hr 49min 07 secs
2. Dave & Geraldine Rosser, Flying Fifteen, KWSC
3. Alan Henderson & Alastair Barrie, Osprey, Prestwick SC
4. Rob Shaw & Ian Little, Osprey, KWSC
5. John & Caz Mills, Osprey, Shoreham SC
6. Brian Kelly & Lorna Dryburgh, Merlin, Clyde CC
7. Glyn Sheffield & Chris Ruttor, Flying Dutchman, West Lancs YC.

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