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September Open at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Judy & John Scullion on 10 Sep 2014 6-7 September 2014

Four fleets raced at KWSC's Open Meeting on 6th and 7th September 2014.

The Laser Grand Prix was a single day event; unfortunately this was on the Saturday, with light easterly winds becoming non-existent during the afternoon. Two races were held, but racing was abandoned before the third as the wind died away completely, and patrol boats were pressed into service to tow the sailors back in.

The Lasers managed very consistent results, with competitors finishing in the same order in both races despite the second race taking approximately twice as long as the first. First place went to Tony Bamforth from Annandale, second was Jonathan Nicoll from Ullswater Yacht Club, third Finn Mitchell from Annandale, fourth Ian Malcolm from St Marys Loch SC and fifth Paul Nicholls, also from St Marys Loch.

The other fleets raced over two days, and comprised seven Ospreys, a fast handicap fleet and a slow handicap fleet. Luckily the weather was better on Sunday, with F3-4 from the west giving generally good conditions for racing, and sundry gusts, lulls and shifts giving ample scope for tactics, as the helms tried to guess what the wind would do next.

In the Osprey Scottish & Northern Championships, Alec Mamwell and Arthur Butler of Coniston SC showed excellent form on Saturday and were in the lead at the end of the first day, but their luck changed on Sunday and they came in fourth overall. Alan Henderson and Alastair Barrie of Prestwick SC triumphed in all three races on Sunday to take the top spot over the weekend. Rob Shaw and Ian Little of KWSC came in second, with Mark Weston and Tim Keighley of West Riding third.

The fast handicap fleet comprised four boats; Richard Purdy from Sunderland in his Rooster 8.1 managed the impressive feat of winning all five races to come out the clear winner. Steve Gibbon and Phil Armstrong from Kielder, in Steve's bright yellow Laser 4000 (no doubt handily visible in a capsize), came second overall. Alan Wolf's Laser managed a very creditable third, considering that he only raced on the Sunday. Alec Vallance, in his Supernova, found the light winds on the Saturday frustrating, retiring from the second race in order to avoid keeping the timekeepers waiting for what would have been a very slow drift down to the leeward mark and an attempt to beat back in no wind. Sunday's winds would have suited him better but a mysteriously late start in the morning caused him to miss the first two races.

The slow handicap fleet comprised a Topper, a Miracle, a Comet and an Optimist on the Saturday, joined on Sunday by two more Oppis. It might as well have been named the youth fleet, as all were helmed by the younger element from KWSC, although Graham Thumwood, crewing for his son Sam, did raise the average age considerably. Robbie Langford took first place in his Topper, with James Nohl second in a Comet, and Sam and Graham Thumwood third in the Miracle.

Competitors and helpers enjoyed a meal on Saturday night at Tower Knowe restaurant, and a range of Great Heck beers flowed in the club into the wee small hours and beyond, until certain hardy revellers staggered out to look at the stars and discovered it was daylight again. This may have handicapped some racers on the Sunday, although the combination of adrenalin and regular splashing with cold water no doubt had a sobering tendency.

Special thanks go to Ernie Bennett, who stepped up as Race Officer at short notice, and his team of helpers; those on safety patrol, and the galley staff who provided meals, snacks and drinks.

Thanks also to all those who travelled up to Kielder to sail and made it a truly sociable occasion. We look forward to seeing you again in May and September next year.

Overall Results:

PosClassPYHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
Slow Handicap
1stTopper1322Robbie Langford KWSC‑221115
2ndComet1196James Nohl KWSC‑3322310
3rdMiracle1200Sam ThumwoodGraham ThumwoodKWSC‑4443213
4thOptimist1658Ben Russell KWSC1166(DSQ)14
5thOptimist1658Luke Stewart KWSC(DNS)DNS34418
6thOptimist1658Archie Dodd KWSC(DNS)DNS55522
Fast Handicap
1stRooster 8.11044Richard Purdy Sunderland YC‑111114
2nd4000922Steve GibbonPhil ArmstrongKWSC22(RET)3310
3rdLaser1088Alan Wolf Yorkshire Dales SC(DNS)DNS22211
4thSupernova1071Alec Vallance KWSC3(DNF)DNSDNS417
Osprey Class
1st  Alan Henderson Prestwick SC‑421115
2nd  Rob Shaw KWSC‑5123410
3rd  Mark Weston West Riding3‑434212
4th  Alec Mamwell Coniston SC13‑66515
5th  Paul Heather Aldenham‑6652316
6th  Viola Scott KWSC2545(DNS)16
7th  William Crichton Ribble Cruising Club‑7777627
Laser Grand Prix
1stLaser1088Tony Bamforth Annandale11   2
2ndLaser1088Jonathan Nicoll Ullswater Yacht Club22   4
3rdLaser1088Finn Mitchell Annandale33   6
4thLaser1088Ian Malcolm St Marys Loch SC44   8
5thRadial1122Paul Nicholls St Marys Loch SC55   10

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