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Plas Menai 2015

Illuminis RS Vareo Open at Milton Keynes Sailing Club

by Nick Crickmore 13 Jun 16:19 BST 10-11 June 2017

We had a new venue for this year's circuit in Milton Keynes Sailing Club. The event took place this weekend and was generously sponsored by Illuminis Insight Software. RS Vareo sailors travelled from sailing clubs as far away as Emberton Park, Pennine, South Cerney and Oulton Broad to compete with the local fleet.

The wind set in as forecast at 22 knots gusting 29 on Saturday blowing straight down the lake allowing Race Officer Bob to set our favourite windward leeward course with spreader and gate providing some spectacular run and gybe antics for the onlookers. Every sailor had at least one capsize, so there was plenty of place changing in each race.

Saturday had four races with a break in the middle for tea and cakes. Luke won three out of four with Cheryl taking one bullet. Nick was never far behind with three 2nd places so all to play for on day two.

That evening the sailors and support teams enjoyed a barbecue and discussion of the day's adventures with photographic evidence adding to the fun. We also held a prize draw for those pre- entered for the Nationals. The lucky winner of a bottle of fizz courtesy of the RS Vareo Class Association was Cheryl Wood.

On Sunday the wind strength reduced to a maximum of 20 but the big gusts kept coming all day to add to the fun. During the day the wind changed direction slightly but Bob managed this with change of buoys for races six and seven to keep the two mark arrangements.

Nick's best chance of a win came in race five when he managed to get half a leg ahead on lap three but he ran into a hole on the left and watched Luke and Howard gybe to the right and follow a gust all the way down to the gate.

Kevin did well in the first half of race six but suffered a similar fate when the wind generally dropped allowing the full rigged sailors to power through.

In this weekend's conditions the storm sail really proved its worth allowing the lighter sailors to compete well on both days including a race win for Cheryl. The fleet welcomed newcomer Howard to the circuit, he showed improving results throughout the weekend including a race win on Sunday.

Big thanks to Illuminis for their generous sponsorship of the whole event with fantastic catering and onshore support, also to Race Officer Bob for super efficient management on the water and of course the patrol team who were well used on both days.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st407Luke FisherEmberton Park SC111‑21217
2nd165Nick CrickmoreWaveney & Oulton Broad YC222323‑414
3rd516Howard Astley‑JonesMilton Keynes SC(RET)33RET31219
4th660Cheryl WoodPennine SC34(RET)145320
5th547Kevin WeatherheadSouth Cerney SC4(RET)4454526
6th443Paul NorthMilton Keynes SC(RET)DNS5RET6RET638