Please select your home edition
Edition
Suntouched 2016 Sandiline Hikers

Osprey Welsh and Midlands Championships at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Nick Broomhall on 4 Apr 1-2 April 2017
Osprey Welsh and Midlands Championships at Blithfield © Alastair Barrie

The Osprey Welsh and Midlands Championship held at Blithfield S.C. on the 1st and 2nd April 2017 attracted 18 entrants, including three new Hartley Mark V's, with competitors travelling from as far as Prestwick SC in the North to Poole YC in the South. Seven of the competitors had arrived at the club as early as Thursday evening and blew any winter cobwebs away by attending an excellent race training day on Friday run by Tim Rush.

Saturday morning brought a pleasant westerly force 2/3 so the scene was set for some great early spring racing. Race Officer Bill Watson briefed the competitors on the recent RYA initiative of changing to the use of the U flag instead of the dreaded "Black Flag" following a general recall, but he needn't have worried as usual the Osprey sailors were generally well behaved and timed their starts pretty well and so the U flag stayed well-hidden all day.

Sailing was extremely competitive throughout the fleet in all three races sailed on Saturday with various boats getting in the top five during the course of the day, but one team stood out from the crowd. Gareth Caldwell and Jon Gibbons sailing at their home club in their Mark IV sailed superbly all day and returned to the clubhouse with three bullets so were clear overnight leaders. However, they didn't have it all their own way on the water and were pushed hard by various teams including Terry Curtis and Peter Greig (Castle Cove SC) who sat in second overnight, and father and son team George and Harry Odling (Plymouth Uni) in third, both sailing wooden Mark III's showing the longevity of the Osprey fleet.

After a great day sailing the competitors joined club members in the club house to sing to "Birthday Boy" Terry Curtis, who apparently was born on 1st April, half a century ago! Then everyone tucked in to the legendary Blithfield Hog Roast, washed down with copious quantities of Black Country draught ales – it was a late finish for some!

Competitors awoke on Sunday to find a beautiful spring morning with a light F2 breeze from the North. With a kick off at 10:00 some of the competitors were perhaps regretting their late night revelling as Bill Watson was forced to bring out the U flag for the first time following the first general recall of the weekend! However another father and son team, Simon and Ben Hawkes were wide awake from the off and took a port flyer on the line, successfully crossing the entire fleet. Ben had not been seen in the clubhouse all evening on Saturday as he had apparently decided to have an early night but rumours were rife that he may not have been alone! Unfortunately at the windward mark it became apparent that although they had initially crossed in front of the fleet, the tactic had not paid off and they eventually finished 5th in race 4. The front two boats of Curtis/Greig and Caldwell/Gibbons broke away to have a great battle with places changing several times, with Curtis/Greig eventually holding on for their first win of the series. However, a 2nd for Caldwell/Gibbons was enough to seal the overall victory and so they headed back to the clubhouse after race 4 to refresh themselves with tea and home-made cakes from the galley.

The wind was reducing in strength and so Bill Watson got race 5 underway quickly whilst there was still enough breeze for good racing. Clearly the early night for Ben Hawkes paid off as they led from the off and pulled out a healthy lead to record a win, with Odling/Odling finshing 2nd and father and daughter team Alex and Nick Willis finishing their campaign with an excellent 3rd place in race 5.

So the deserved winners of the Osprey Welsh and Midlands Championship 2017 are Gareth Cauldwell and Jon Gibbons sailing Odeline at their home club. The general verdict of the sailors was that they had a great weekend of sailing and some super socialising and great food. Hope you can all make it back to Blithfield next year!

Overall Results: (top five)

1st Gareth Caldwell and Jon Gibbons (Blithfield SC) 5pts 2nd Terry Curtis and Pete Greig (Castle Cove SC) 12pts 3rd George and Harry Odling (Plymouth Uni SC) 13pts 4th Simon and Ben Hawkes (Wimbleball SC) 15pts 5th Alexandra and Nick Willis (Hayling Island SC) 20pts

Land Rover BAR Cap
REPORT OF THE MONTH SPONSORED BY Report of the Month sponsored by Henri Lloyd Nominate this article for report of the month for your chance to WIN a Land Rover BAR Cap for yourself and the author of the report that receives the most votes. Just fill in the form below!
Your name

Your email address

Why do you like this report?



Related Articles

Paignton Sailing Club's PODD preview
Event for doublehanded dinghies to be held on 20-21 May 2017 will be the 6th year of Paignton Sailing Club's iconic flagship event for double-handed dinghies: PODD. This is the only BIG double hander event in the south-west for all double-handed mono-hull single handers with a PY of 1200 or lower. Posted on 21 Apr
Osprey class coaching programme launched
First event held at Blithfield on Friday The Osprey class launched its 2017 class coaching programme at Blithfield SC, on Friday 30 March. This coaching day was immediately followed by the class's Welsh & Midlands Championship at Blithfield on the Saturday and Sunday. Posted on 4 Apr
Gul and sailing event sponsorship
We speak to Mike Pickering We spoke to Mike Pickering at Gul Watersports about the events and sailors that they sponsor, why these partnerships are of benefit to the company, how prizes should be divided up in a fleet, and what the most important aspect of an event is to Gul. Posted on 21 Mar
Five boats, sails, masts, chandlery and clothing
A busy time for P&B ahead of the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show The week before the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show is always a busy one for the team at P&B, but for 2017 they have pulled out all the stops, with no less than five boats showcased, and sails on a range of boats throughout the show. Posted on 1 Mar
Inspire your club members
At the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017 If your sailing club is looking for tips on increasing membership, advice on legal matters or examples of how to market your activities, then don't miss the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017 (4-5 March 2017). Posted on 19 Feb
Tuning guru to speak on Osprey stand
Multiclass champion Ian Pinnell talk at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show Drop by the Osprey Association stand (A4) at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on Saturday 04 March, 3.30pm, where multiclass champion and sailmaker Ian Pinnell, will be giving a talk on tuning. Posted on 16 Feb
Ospreys End of Seasons at Rutland
Feathers ruffled by a cool breeze At the Osprey End of Seasons at Rutland on October 22/23, feathers were ruffled by a cool F2/3 coming from the north east, over the dam. A class of 17 Ospreys shared the waters with Contenders and Hornets at a joint open. Posted on 26 Oct 2016
Kielder Water September Open
The weather gods in two minds The weather gods, it seemed, were in two minds as to whether to support KWSC's Open meeting on 10th and 11th September. Saturday had light winds from the west – or from the south-west, depending which part of the course you were on. Posted on 14 Sep 2016
Osprey Scottish & Northern Championship
Preceded by a day of sail testing and boat bimbling Ospreys came to the class's Northern stronghold, Kielder Water SC, for three days of good sailing from 9 to 11 September. Friday was a practice day, for sail testing and boat bimbling, before the five race Championship started on Saturday. Posted on 13 Sep 2016
Summer is Championship Season!
A busy period for P&B sailors It's been a busy period for P&B sailors as they have been competing at the numerous sailing events around the globe, with the Summer's Championship Season coming to a close we thought it would be a good time to shout about some of our success! Posted on 1 Sep 2016