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Cadet Open at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by Steph Videlo on 26 Mar 25 March 2017
The first run during the Frensham Cadet Open © Steph Videlo

Frensham Pond at its finest...

A steady 20 knot north easterly wind greeted the 26 boats at the Frensham Pond Sailing Club Cadet Open on 25 March 2017. After a winter season characterised by windless and icy Saturdays, this was a welcomed change for the home fleet and seven visitors.

To encourage those newer helms, a Bronze fleet was in operation with separate starts removing some of the "big fleet angst". Whilst the conditions were far from "novice" nine intrepid Bronze boats entered.

The Race Officer, Keith Videlo set up the course with two races back to back before lunch and the same afterwards. Unusually for Frensham, the same course was set for all races- the prevailing wind strength and direction being sufficiently strong to eradicate the famously shifty conditions on the Pond.

Race 1 started cleanly but a couple of boats (Katie Yelland with Sheri Lynch and Charlotte Videlo with Tom Shepherd) thought they were OCS and returned to the line, capsizing in the process.

Meanwhile at the front of the fleet there was a tussle at the first windward between Finbarr Wormwell with George Little (8847) and Rebecca Videlo with Yasmin Sfaxi (9992) with Megan Ferguson & Tom Stratton-Brown (10002) a couple of boat lengths behind. Finbar & Rebecca rounded the mark together with Finbarr on the inside track then taking the lower route on the run down the Pond. A storming run down the Pond was an impressive sight with these three boats being chased hard by Bea Harris & Sam Goult (9985) and Jess Williams with Jemima Hill (9673).

Megan rounded the bottom mark first and chaos broke out behind her. A gust hit the chasing pack causing Jess to capsize narrowly missing both Rebecca & Finbarr who in taking avoiding action allowed Bea to nip round the mark and into second place.

The spills & fury continued with some impressive sailing from all. Keeping the boat flat and under control was the key to success today. Good tactical choices on the beats enabled Amy & Ben Goult (9510) and Rosie Targett & Sophia Sfaxi (8420) to make progress through the fleet to finish in second and third as Megan sailed away to win by half a leg.

Your author missed most of race two whilst administering hot chocolate to those who had retired. There were two boats OCS (Bea and Phoebe Bradshaw). However, Finbarr thought he too was also over the line and made a return, only to capsize downwind.

At the first windward, Megan led from Rebecca, Amy, Rosie and Bea. The chasing pack jostled for position throughout but never threatened Megan who pulled away for her second win. Second place was hard fought on the final reach between Amy and Rosie. They were neck and neck with 20m to the finish line but Rosie capsized in a dramatic finale to the race. Third was Finbarr having sailed superbly to pull back through the fleet. Rosie crossed the line upside down to an adventurous fourth.

Lunch was a welcome break for all especially as the wind peaked at 36 knots while all were safely in the clubhouse - although a couple of boats did blow off their trollies during the break.

Race 3 was a clean start with Finbar first to the windward mark chased by Amy and Bea. Megan continuing her strategy of sailing low on the runs, made up several places to pull into second at the leeward mark. Finbarr hit the leeward mark allowing Megan to take the lead chased by Bea. A rare Megan capsize on the second beat left the door open for Bea who took to lead and won the race. Megan second, then Amy and Rosie.

With reducing numbers in both fleets, competitors gathered their energy for the final race. Rebeca was first to the windward but again lost out to Megan's superior low downwind sailing.

Megan sailed away from the chasing pack of Amy, Bea and Rosie to record her third bullet of the meeting, and secure the title of FPSC Cadet Open winner.

Surprisingly this is an honour that has eluded her over the years, never having finished higher than fifth.

Meanwhile the Bronze fleet had been exploring all areas of the Pond, with multiple capsizes and even a Dad doing a spot of helming. The first Bronze race was won by Alana Corbett with Fergus Law being the only one in the fleet to finish. Race 2 was equally as vicious with two finishers and Heather Brown with Ella Turnbull prevailing. After lunch whilst only two boats completed the racing (Heather and Ella plus Fran Neil and Emelia Hampton) special mention must go to Arthur Bird and Noah Williams in Purple Haze. They kept at the task in hand despite numerous capsizes and ventures into the reeds.

Thanks go to all the parents who helped out on and off the water and made the event such a success.

Please note, to aid the reporting, the boats in this report have been referred to by the helm's name. However, Cadets cannot be sailed solo and all the crews need the same credit as is afforded their helms... it's a team sport. Thank you crews!

www.sailfrensham.org.uk

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoClubPts
1Megan FergussonTom Stratton‑Brown10002FPSC3
2Amy GoultBen Goult9510FPSC6
3Bea HarrisSam Goult9985Bristol Corinthian/FPSC8
4Rosie TargettSophia Sfaxi8420FPSC11
5Emily SpeirsRosie Voyantzis9984FPSC16
6Rebecca VideloYasmin Sfaxi9992FPSC16
7Finbarr WormwellGeorge Little8847FPSC17
8Max BuswellWilliam Farrant9382South Cerney22
9Katie YellandSheri Lynch9292FPSC25
10Ellie WatlingJess Watling9020FPSC29

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