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Vane 36R Beesley Cup at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 25 Sep 18:16 BST 23 September 2017
Vane sailing Beesley Cup at Fleetwood © Tony Wilson

A dry forecast for a change with an 8mph breeze from the South East, and we were good to go for yet another exiting day in the world of Vane sailing. Again, like the last Vane outing, we would be reaching along the lake from both directions and probably not needing the poles.

Five entrants for the day and, as the races are sailed in pairs, each of the skippers would have to take their turns at missing a race. Peter Whiteside first on the list to take a bye.

Amongst the selection of boats were at least two Taxachuns and a one-off design boat with Jones Vane gear, a home-design vane by Peter Jackson and a couple of engineered masterpieces by our race officer Eric Watkinson.

Race one and John Plant had won his downwind leg and his upwind beat, and who says he doesn't know what he's doing, as this is what he usually claims. Martin Pritchard had also won both his legs against Peter J., but Mr Whiteside was still to join in on the next race.

Heat two and it was Martin's turn to sit out, while Peter W. gained his first 5 points and John also took another 5 points to show he meant business.

Heat three was where is wasn't working too well for our John as a collision with Martin had a restart, and then a patch of pirouetting down the bottom end of the lake was causing him a bit of a headache.

Mates Ian and Tony were also a bit bedazzled down here and at times wondering whether they were actually twisting the feather vanes in the right directions amidst the swirling wind. As it was the last third of the lake near the roadside had the wind coming in from all directions.

If you could carve your way through this dodgy patch then you had more than likely won the leg. This was only if you hadn't encountered one of the great Northern delicacies, the dreaded 'Jellied Keel' although we do now think the jellyfish may becoming fewer in number.

After lunch there were still the four legs to sail for completion of the round. It was only going to be one round today as time was marching on.

At the end of heat four it was clear that Peter Whiteside was leading and couldn't be beaten. On a tie were J.P and Martin, while Peter Jackson was able to rest his weary legs and take his turn for the final bye. Martin won his first run leg against Eddie which meant he was now two points ahead of John who had just gifted Peter W. with another 2pts.

The last leg of heat five was the clincher, as John would need to win his beat leg and hope that Martin would fail against Eddie. John did finally get the 3 points needed, which was the only leg that Peter W. had dropped all day. But Martin had also added another 3pts which meant he was runner up.

Total points that could have been had if you won all races could have been 20, so there was some good racing had for our top three.

Overall Results: (top three)

1 Peter Whiteside, 17pts
2 Martin Pritchard, 15pts
3 John Plant, 13pts

The next Vane event on the calendar at Fleetwood is on the last weekend of October.