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Ovington Boats 2014

Ovington Inland Championships at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Ovington Boats 13 Nov 2014 09:36 GMT 8-9 November 2014

A total of 144 boats racing over three courses made Grafham a busy place to be over the weekend of the Ovington Classes Inland Championships. There was plenty of wind on Saturday, too much for many, with around 20 knots enlivened by gusts in the upper 30s. The fast boats (49ers, and Musto Skiffs – Alpha Course) decamped to the west end of the lake, the 29ers on Bravo Course occupied the middle ground and the 'slower' classes (Flying 15s, Phantoms and Solutions) headed towards the dam, where CRO John Reynolds managed to find room to set a suitably challenging course.

It was hardly surprising that all fleets recorded a number of DNCs: there were just two finishers in the 49er fleet in Race 1 and Graeme Wilcox & Andrew Torboton (the eventual winners) were the sole survivors in Race 2. The 29ers took time-out between races while the safety boats sorted out the carnage but, after time to warm up and recover, battle was resumed. In mid-afternoon a heavy rain squall gusting up to 34 knots came across the lake and racing finished for the day, with two races completed for the fast and medium fleets and three for the slower fleet. Throughout the day, race management teams kept things moving with commendable efficiency and the safety boats handled the conditions with their customary fortitude and skill.

The second day couldn't have been more different: the forecast 5 knots of breeze took its time to build, so patience was needed. The FFs, Phantoms and Solutions shared Sunday racing with Club sailors. Partly as a consequence of this, the RO started Race 4 in the lightest of zephyrs. On Alpha course, CRO Peter Baldwin managed to start their race 3 as the wind began to fill in, followed by another three races as the wind gently increased. On Bravo course, CRO Peter Saxton decided to wait for more stable conditions – it was a 29er Squad Selector event after all – and the breeze duly filled in – albeit an hour or so behind schedule! Whilst waiting for the wind, the fleets observed the customary two minutes silence at 11:00 – with the calm conditions adding to the poignancy.

Back on Charlie course, the onset of more breeze, led to both the FFs and Phantoms / Solutions deciding to enliven proceedings with general recalls. This is more or less unheard of in club racing, so it gave the locals (including, I suspect, the CRO) food for thought!

With each course finishing racing at difference times, there was a split prize-giving and most sailors managed to get on the road home in daylight, although the 29ers were last to leave and some found the lack of lighting in the car park a bit of a challenge! So, once again, congratulations on a well-run – and deservedly well-attended event.

Fleet Winners: (full 29er results are here and other fleet results here)

  • 49er: Graeme Wilcox & Andrew Torboton (Netley SC)
  • 49er FX: Chris Tilbrook & Carys Roberts (Paignton SC)
  • Musto Skiff: Ben Schooling (Datchet Water SC)
  • 29er: Rowan Edwards & Daniel Blight (Pwllheli SC / Portdinorwic SC)
  • Flying 15: Graham Vials & Chris Turner (Royal Lymington YC)
  • Phantom: Will Gulliver (Northampton SC)
  • Solution: Christian Smart (Pembrokeshire YC)