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Noble Marine 2012

RS Vareo Volvo Noble Marine Nationals at Llandegfedd Sailing Club - Overall

by Paul North on 30 Aug 2016 27-29 August 2016

Days 2 and 3

The forecast was light for day two at Llandegfedd SC but on the day a little more wind showed up than expected blowing pretty much straight down the lake from the South/South West so the course was reversed from day one. With just a minor readjustment in the afternoon the course set was good for the two races before lunch and two after. Some rain was expected but again only one brief shower actually arrived.

Highlights from day two were a constant stream of sailors having more than close contact with the windward mark and spreader. There seemed to be little swirl in the wind here (right in the middle of the lake!) so that time after time what looked like a good track become a really tight pinch. If you got past the windward mark OK the penalty for hoisting the kite before the spreader mark was to have your sheet hook round the buoy on the way past. I'm told that in the evening the race team were considering introducing parking tickets for those marks!

For me the highlight was arriving at the windward mark looking over for the spreader to see Alex Howard capsized right near it, the mark invisible behind his boat and those around. As his boat righted the mark was hooked in the spinnaker and hoisted a good 6 feet out of the water – impressive. The racing felt closer on Sunday with every mark seeming to have lots of boats arriving at the same time with lots of shouting and the fleet pretty compact.

Jeremy Symons took race four with Luke Fisher second and David Jarrett with another top three place – a consistent position that would ultimate pay dividends.

Bill Jackson pipped Jeremy to the line for race five with Nils Jolliffe third. An excellent lunch of home-made curry provided a welcome break and chance to compare notes before we were back on the water.

There was some very close racing in the afternoon and a really tight tussle between Chris Smith, Andrew Appleton, Paul Kettle, Tom Watts and me – it was nip and tuck with the positions seeming to change at every mark. We were probably battling for 19th place but it was great fun!

Apparently, back up the front Nils had re-found his form taking race six followed by Bill Jackson and that man Jarret with another third. I think this was the race that Jeremy sportingly parked on the windward mark to allow some of the rest to pass.

After a minor course reset race seven saw David Jarrett take the win from Nils with Simon Collinson in third.

So, after two days and seven races our overnight leader was still Nils with David Jarrett in second and Bill Jackson in third just ahead of Jeremy.

We woke on Monday morning to clear blue skies and a forecast of 1 "gusting" to 4 knots later in the day. Arriving at the lake it was clear that racing would be delayed as the surface was like glass. Plenty of boat tinkering ensued with people in particular looking at the various rigging options for improving the spinnaker pole friction and bungee take-up of the slack rope that ALWAYS wraps around my ankles no matter how hard I try!

A consensus agreed that there would be a decision at noon to cancel if no wind arrived. However, with a few puffs here and there we took to the water in the late morning and slowly headed down to the far end of the lake. By the time we got to the committee boat a decent breeze had arrived and 10 minutes later we were racing. (Amazingly it lasted for 2 races then gradually faded as we sailed home.)

In race eight Jeremy took the win convincingly, one again showing how deep he can sail in light winds. David Jarrett was second, followed by Kevin Weatherhead having his best result of the weekend (and ultimately going on to win the concessional cup).

As we lined up for the start of the last race the breeze had picked up a bit more and somehow in the jockeying for the line I finally managed (fluked) a good start. As we approached the windward mark I was on port tack with Bill outside me and had plenty of water to tack in front of those boats coming in on the starboard lay line. Bill looked across and shouted "are you going?", I looked at the mark and said "are you sure?", he nodded so I tacked onto a good line to pass the mark. Bill tacked but had to pinch really tightly and just sneaked past the buoy while three boats sailed past as he was parked. He looked up to realise that the pinch to the spreader was just as tight and lost another three places.

I rounded the spreader in the lead and had that "Oh ****, I'm at the front what do I do now" moment! I gybed badly (and too quickly) and watched Jeremy take the lead so at least I had someone to follow. Joost Knotnerus, one of the sailors from The Netherlands had also had a good start and was in close third as we completed the first lap. (I was choked that the race officer didn't shorten the course!) I had a great race with Joost while the natural order was restored as we gradually moved down the fleet. At the last mark I was caught in some horrible dirty wind, Joost took 8th as I was just pipped to that top 10 place by David Jarrett (galling that it was then a discard for him).

Bill Jackson produced a terrific comeback after his trials with the windward marks to take second behind Jeremy with John Regan in third.

Final placings: David Jarret was the winner and our new National Champion. While only winning one race he finished second or third in every other race apart from the discards proving that consistency counts. Jeremy Symons second, Nils Jolliffe third and Bill Jackson fourth.

It was a great weekend run very efficiently and in good fun by all involved at the Llandegfedd Sailing Club. Particular thanks to those organising the domestic stuff, fresh tea on tap and a variety of snacks and other drinks hit the spot perfectly and those on trolley dolly duty really eased our departures and arrivals.

On a personal note, as someone who sails on a very small pond in Milton Keynes it was great to have so much water to play with and really begin to learn how to manage the kite with a bit less fear and panic.

My thanks to all of the other competitors: what a great bunch of friendly people who I look forward to meeting again at other events in the future. Thanks for all those little snippets of help and advice. Thanks also to our event sponsors Volvo, Noble Marine and RS Sailing.

I now know the 2 areas I need to concentrate on so I'm off to practice my boat handling skills and tactics then I'll have it nailed! See you at Tata in October.

Prizewinners:

Concessional Cup (over 60)547 Kevin Weatherhead
Master (50+)665 Jeremy Symons
Grand Master (55+)605 David Jarrett
Lady660 Cheryl Wood
Fidelis (4th or more Nationals not a major winner)165 Nicholas Crickmore
Apprentice (1st Nationals)605 David Jarrett

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1605David JarrettLlandegfedd SC2323‑15312‑1016
2665Jeremy SymonsLlandegfedd SC‑16‑7312641118
3487Nils JolliffeNetley SC151‑13312‑9720
4501Bill JacksonLlandegfedd SC344‑512‑84220
5165Nicholas CrickmoreNorfolk Island SC41‑157556‑10533
6407Luke FisherEmberton Park SC62‑1426‑1056835
7239Carl GillNetley SC5864449(DNC [27])(DNC [27])40
8523Simon CollinsonLlandegfedd SC7699873‑12‑1249
9547Kevin WeatherheadSouth Cerney SC14‑238109‑16113459
10565Andy HowardLlandegfedd SC8117‑15‑148751359
11612John ReganLlandegfedd SC9121081311‑18‑14366
12389Alex HowardLlandegfedd SC1513516‑17‑17177679
13226Joost KnotnerusZeilvereniging Gaaseprplas1314‑19‑237141316986
14415Andy TrickettNetley SC1210176‑2519‑23151493
15660Cheryl WoodPennine SC10913‑24‑20201681995
16305Mike RhodesNetley SC11171211121814(DNC [27])(DNC [27])95
17211Clare WilliamsLlandegfedd SC‑23‑2116201913101118107
18337Richard HolmesHickling Broad SC1718‑2418181212‑2215110
19619Chris SmithLlandegfedd SC1915‑21141692020‑21113
20443Paul NorthMilton Keynes SC20‑221112‑2121191911113
21658Andrew AppletonSouth Cerney SC1819‑2019‑2215151717120
22321Paul KettleOxford SC‑2520‑22221122212116133
23424Tom WattsLlandegfedd SC(DNF [27])‑2625171024221820136
24359Peter KnappBough Beech SC21161821232524(DNF [27])(DNC [27])148
25540Arwin BosWSV Buurman242423‑2524232513(DNF [27])156
26266Chris CollOlton Mere222526(DNF [27])(DNS [27])DNC [27]DNC [27]DNC [27]DNC [27]181

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