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Albacore Open at Maidenhead Sailing Club

by Jennifer Heward-Craig & Jenny Bentley 13 Apr 2016 21:21 BST 10 April 2016

Rough day at the office

With a stiff east-southeasterly wind covering all of Summerleaze Lake, and bright sunshine, Sunday's Albacore Open at Maidenhead Sailing Club promised to be perfect Albacore sailing. Sixteen boats, including visitors from Carsington, Broadwater, South Cerney, Hawley Lake, Henley and Tewkesbury, took to the water, hoping for some decent planing, a lot of shouting, and no broken masts – last year claiming two mast casualties!

Race one, with the wind favouring a starboard tack and a committee boat start, Chas Frize/ Julie Maidment (8188) crossed the line first, but island location and a tight line meant that where and when a boat tacked changed places amongst the leads. By the second mark, with 8188 having lost ground as the boats sailed across the top of the lake, Ian Stone/Jenni Craig (8072) and Graham Darvile/Mike Bowers (7416) led the fleet. The wind, close sailing, and the number of gybes in the course, gave the sailors a good workout, the lead boat constantly changing. Four crews found the conditions too strenuous, retiring to husband their strength for post-lunch racing. Despite their early setback, 8188 took first, with Matthew and Emma Metcalfe-Smith (8158) second, and John Woffinden/Erica Hunter (8213) third.

Frize's failure to sabotage his competitors by putting them to sleep after a decent lunch meant that the fifteen boats took to the water for the second race – with one competitor having to change boats due to damage (but gosh, it was nice to see P1 back on the water, competing). The second race – similar direction, but with less marks – was just as hard on the boats as the first race. First casualty was 8072, whose shroud adjustor string snapped one boat length after the start, leaving them to limp back into shore to make repairs. Second casualty was Andy and Cathy Burfield (6673), who capsized before they crossed the start line.

The start was very tight, with all the contending boats crossing the line within one boat-length of each other. Just ahead was Phil Tindall/Roy Box (8129), but there was nothing in it. By the end of the first lap, 8158 was clearly ahead of 8188 and 8213. For most of the race, there was battling for the minor placings, while 8158 remained ahead of the fleet. The shortened course flag went up, and in the run towards the last mark of the race, 8213 passed 8158 to take first and second in that order, with 7416 third.

Going into the last race, with two boats on four points and one on five, there was everything to race for. Capsizes and energetic conditions reduced the fleet to eleven boats.

The prevailing easterly meant that for most boats, the pin-end was the chosen start position. Not so for 8188, whose choice of committee boat end kept them amongst the front-starters, without the need to tack for land. Barry Wicks/Hannah Duncan (8069) made a spirited mid-line start, well ahead of the fleet. By the second mark, 7416 and 8213 were battling out first place, with 8188 biding his time, waiting for either to make a mistake. And when the mistake was made – leaving both to retire from the race – Frize moved up and was never headed. Second, with the repair holding firm, was 8072. 8158 rounded out the placings with third.

With results in, the winner of MSC's Albacore Open for 2016 were Maidenhead sailors Chas Frize and Julie Maidment. Second, also from Maidenhead, were John Woffinden and Erica Hunter, while third were Carsington SC's Matthew and Emma Metcalfe-Smith. For the Silver Fleet sailors, MSC's Stuart McAdam and Sarah Mayhew took the honours, with James Kearns/Malcolm Butler (MSC) and Andy and Cathy Burfield (MSC) second and third respectively.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1stGOLD8188Maidenhead SCChas FrizeJulie Maidement1‑412
2ndGOLD8213Maidenhead SCJohn WoffindenErica Hunter31(DNF)4
3rdGOLD8158Carsington SCMatthew Metcalfe‑SmithEmma Metcalfe‑Smith22‑34
4thGOLD7416BroadwaterGraham DarvileMyke Bowers43(RAF)7
5thGOLD8072Maidenhead SCIan StoneJenni Craig6(DNF)28
6thGOLD8129Maidenhead SCPhil TindallRoy Box‑7549
7thGOLD8069Maidenhead SCBarry WicksHannah Duncan56(DNF)11
8thGOLD7508South Cerney SCDave WhittleJackie Vale‑87512
9thSILVER8001Maidenhead SCStuart McAdamSarah Mayhew‑108614
10thGOLD7525Hawley Lake SCAndy PearceIan Simpson‑119716
11thGOLD807Maidenhead SCMike HamiltonJoe Jones9(DNF)DNS26
12thSILVER1070Maidenhead SCJames KearnsMalcolm Cutler(DNF)10DNF27
13thSILVER6673Maidenhead SCAndy BurfieldCathy Burfield12(DNF)DNS29
14thSILVER6930Maidenhead SCRobin BrookesVictoria McCabe(DNF)DNFDNS34
14thSILVER1936Henley SCG KerrPip Kerr(DNF)DNFDNS34
14thSILVER8155Tewkesbury SCMatthew ThompsonHeather Thompson(DNF)DNSDNS34

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