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Henri Lloyd 2016 Freedom

OK open meeting at South Staffordshire Sailing Club

by Tony Woods on 17 Oct 2016

S.S.S.C were their usual welcoming, friendly and professional hosts to the OK fleet. Conditions were blustery and very short term.

In the first race of the day the Race Officer had three attempts at starting before bringing the black flag into play.

As the gun went Ben Steele who's starting technique can be described as 'punchy' was somehow singled out in his bright red boat with a personal sail number and removed from the race course.

First around the windward mark was Will Croxford who extended his lead on the first reach. Unfortunately Croxford followed the OK fashion by rounding the mark the wrong way. The chasing pack of Tony Woods, Ed Bradburn, and Mike Senior could be heard sympathising with Croxford who thanks to his large lead was still in the mix.

On the next windward leg Senior and Bradburn moved into the lead. Woods passed Croxford into 3rd on the next lap. Dave Bourne then made a charge, relishing the 'Pond Life' conditions he has became famous for. He came from nowhere, hooked into a massive shift to overtake Woods and Bradburn and into 2nd. And that's how the fleet finished.

After a fine lunch the fleet got away, this time without the black flag. Only one boat was over the line; Steele in the bright red boat with the personal sail number.

Again Croxford was showing the advantage of local knowledge and worked his way into the lead. Half way through the race, Bradburn took the lead and Woods who had come from mid fleet snatched 2nd, with Tony Rich managing third.

In the final race of the day Steele ran out of breeze just before the start gun meaning that he was actually not on course side as the gun went!

Senior and Bradburn shot into the lead with the chasing pack of Woods Steele and Bourne somewhat behind.

As the race developed Woods broke away from Steele and Bourne and caught and overtook Bradburn. Senior protected his lead and crossed the line with the win that secured overall victory.

Top three results:

1st Mike Senior. S.S.S.C.
2nd Ed Bradburn. S.S.S.C.
3rd Tony Woods. Glossop S.C.

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