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Albacore Open at Maidenhead Sailing Club

by Jennifer Heward-Craig 11 Apr 2017 15:13 BST 9 April 2017

It was a day of contrasts at Maidenhead Sailing Club's Albacore Open, held Sunday on Summerleaze Lake. Despite all assurances that there would be a decent 10mph wind, the only waves were those made by the Race Officer, desperately searching the lake for any sign of a breeze.

Race 1 started with jostling for position at the pin end of the line. With not much wind, position meant everything. It was not a clean start. Three boats had to restart after they were forced over the line. Boats 8072 (Ian Stone/Leo Wilkinson), 8069 (Barry Wicks/Sarah Mayhew), current National champion 8228 (Judy Armstrong/Paul Armstrong), and 8158 (Matthew Metcalfe-Smith/Emma Metcalfe-Smith) began strongly, but by the first mark, 8228 and 8069 were being closely harried by 8213 (John Woffinden/Erica Hunter), who, despite being having to restart, had made good use of the available wind to sail up into third.

After that, it was a wonderful exhibition of light-wind sailing, with the lead changing between 8228 and 8069 until the fourth lap, when Armstrong finally consolidated first position, getting ahead of the fleet and extending her lead until the end of the race.

After lunch, and the wind had arrived. A fresh gusting south-southwesterly. With the new wind, and the corresponding change of course, it became apparent that the new conditions suited some sailors more than others. Stone in 8072 took the second race, despite 8228 holding the lead for part of the race, with 8312 third.

Race 3, and with two different first placers, and others close in points, the Open championship was up for grabs. The start was clean, with most boats favouring the pin end towards the island. At the fourth mark, 8228 was a bare boat's length ahead of 8072, with Stone having taken a different tack down the beat. By the second lap, the two lead boats had opened up quite a gap on the rest of the fleet, with the other competitors spread out across the water. After a brief drop in windspeed, it picked up again, gusting at times to 20-plus mph, giving the sailors good planing from the bottom to the top of the lake. These conditions suited Stone, who sailed away with first place, about three boatlengths ahead of Armstrong. 8152 (Phil Smith/Tom Williams) managed to stay ahead of 8069 to claim third place.

After all points were calculated, Will Davies/Ellie Gladwyn (8001) were declared winners of the Silver Fleet. On countback, MSC's Wicks/Mayhew placed third over fellow club members Woffinden/Hunter, and despite Armstrong/Armstrong's strong showing, MSC's Stone/Wilkinson's 2 net points just pipped their 3, making them this year's MSC Albacore Open champions.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoClubHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1stGOLD8072Maidenhead SCIan StoneLeo Wilkinson‑7112
2ndGOLD8228Scaling Dam SCJudy ArmstrongPaul Armstrong1‑223
3rdGOLD8069Maidenhead SCBarry WicksSarah Mayhew2‑446
4thGOLD8213Maidenhead SCJohn WoffindenErica Hunter33‑76
5thGOLD8152RYAPhil SmithTom Williams4‑737
6thGOLD8158Carsington SCMatthew Metcalfe‑SmithEmma Metcalfe‑Smith‑65510
7thGOLD8129Maidenhead SCPhil TindallRoy Box5‑9813
8thGOLD8130Maidenhead SCHoward WittDave Duncan8‑12614
9thSILVER8001Maidenhead SCWilliam DaviesEllie Gladwyn‑96915
10thGOLD8154BroadwaterGraham DarvileMyke Bowers108(DNF)18
11thSILVER7525Maidenhead SCAndy PearceIan Simpson‑12101020
12thSILVER7508South Cerney SCDave WhittleJackie Vale‑11111122
13thSILVER70Maidenhead SCMark HudsonMAlcolm Cutler‑14131225
14thSILVER7929Maidenhead SCBruce PrestonPeter Ford1314(DNF)27
15thSILVER1070Maidenhead SCJames KearnsChris Herbert‑16161329
16thSILVER6673Maidenhead SCAndy BurfieldCathy Burfield1515(DNF)30

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