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Mighty Oak Solo Eastern Area Championship at Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club

by Steve Corbet on 29 Jun 24 June 2017

It was a bright sunny Saturday morning when the first of 28 Solos arrived at Leigh on Sea SC for the 'Mighty Oak' Eastern Area Championships, a moderate breeze from the south west was blowing; all that was missing was water!

The usual Leigh mud flats were much in evidence beyond the small sandy beach, but as the racers rigged and enjoyed the tea, coffee and bacon rolls the tide quickly covered the mud to allow the race team to get afloat with the marks to lay the course for race 1.

After a short spell with the AP flying while the marks were juggled to get them in the best positions, it was time for three quick races before the tide would leave the mud exposed again. To persuade the fleet to stay behind the start line the RO used 'I' for this and subsequent starts. This was successful and the First Sub was not needed to call a General Recall.

At the start of race 1, 5300 Doug Latta managed to creep over the line early and was asked to return around the Committee Boat end of the line. Ewan Birkin-Walls, 5738, quickly moved to the front of the fleet, behind him Andrew Boyce filled second place, with Steve Ede in third at the end of the first round. The wind had strengthen to a steady 24 knots which gave several racers problems at the gybe mark, a number found that they were having a spell of inspection of their centreboards and the bottom of the boat. At the end of the third round the Race Officer flew 'S', Ewan maintained his first place followed by Mathew Frary in second, having worked up from 6th at the first round, and Steve Ede in third.

A quick turn round was planned for race 2, but 2 mins into the start sequence a squall caused the Committee Boat to drag anchor. A quick decision was made to stop the sequence and to reposition the Committee Boat and the start line. Another 'I' flag start saw the fleet away cleanly and Vince Horey took the lead with Ewan Birmingham-Walls chasing him in second. These positions remained the same until the hooter at the end of three rounds. Third place was a tussle between Steve Ede and Mathew Frary with Mathew getting the 3rd place.

The fresh wind was reducing the fleet numbers, with only 22 of the original 28 stating the last race. Ewan moved to the front and established a good lead which he held for all three rounds. Mathew Frary finished in second after working through the fleet from his first round position of sixth. Steve Ede finished the series with a third place ahead of Andrew Wilson.

Overall the Championship was won by Ewan Birkin-Walls, Vince Horey was second and Mathew Frary was third. Jonny Wells from Essex YC was the first boat with a sail number under 4000, while Nick Hann with the oldest boat in the fleet was the first Leigh on Sea SC boat.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5738Ewan Birkin‑WallsEssex YC1‑212
2nd5730Vince HoreyKing George SC31(DNF)4
3rd5586Mathew FraryNorfolk Broads YC2‑324
4th5608Steve EdeArdleigh SC‑4437
5th5561Tim LewisRYA6‑13511
6th5715Nick MardenBough Beech SC56‑1011
7th5455Mark MaskellBlackwater SC‑87613
8th5582Andrew WilsonGirton SC10‑14414
9th5134Robert LaurieRYA‑95914
10th5300Doug LattaPorchester SC7‑10714
11th3073Jonny WellsEssex YC‑178816
12th5168Jonathan OtterPapercourt SC(DSQ)91221
13th5723Alan BishopBlackwater SC1211(DNC)23
14th5634Andrew McGawNorthampton SC‑15151126
15th2120Nick HannLeigh on Sea SC13‑171326
16th3803Alan RobertsLeigh on Sea SC‑20121628
17th3959Cass MonkLeigh on Sea SC‑16161430
18th5666Andrew BoycePapercourt SC1120(DNF)31
19th4023Colin WalkerLeigh on Sea SC14‑191731
20th3904Robin TothillLeigh on Sea SC‑18181533
21st3355Tony HandfieldLeigh on Sea SC19‑241837
22nd5138Patrick OversPaxton Lakes SC‑21211940
23rd3249Richard KnightLeigh on Sea SC‑24222042
24th5649Steven BishopGirton SC2623(DNC)49
25th2829Dave BraunLeigh on Sea SC22(DNF)DNC51
26th3936Richard BeechyLeigh on Sea SC23(DNC)DNC52
27th3886Russell TredgettLeigh on Sea SC25(DNC)DNC54
28th3419Mark JudgeLeigh on Sea SC(DNF)DNFDNC58

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