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Alton Water 2018 Fox's Chandlery Frostbite Series - Day 1

by Jenny Pavey 13 Jan 07:53 GMT 7 January 2018
Ready to go on day 1 of the Alton Water Frostbite Series © Emer Berry

A chilly but bright day greeted sailors for the first day of the nine week Frostbite Series at Alton Water in Suffolk. With over seventy entries for the series, expectations of good competitive racing were high. However, the forecast of a 20kn+ north easterly wind with gusts of up to 35kn put some people off the sailing, choosing to spectate instead.

Thirty-three boats took to the water for the first race of the series, the Race Officer assuring them at the briefing that the water temperature would be warmer than the air temperature. The format is the now well established five starts; Fast, Asymmetric, Lasers, Medium and Slow and entries were spread fairly evenly across all of them. It was largely a question of survival during the substantial gusts with almost half the fleet deciding to take a dip to test the 'race officer theory'.

There was some sensational downwind sailing from the RS200s (from those that managed to stay upright) – the only disappointment being that it was far away from the encouraging spectator crowd.

After the Fast, Asymmetric and Laser fleets had completed three laps and the Medium and Slow had done two, the Race Officer decided to shorten the race, much to the relief of those who were tiring fast and the slight disappointment of the one or two who were enjoying the challenging conditions. Only 21 of the thirty-three starters finished the race.

A second race was planned but the wind had picked up and the gusts were getting stronger so the Race Officer took his cue from the majority of the fleet who had voted with their feet (or tillers) and gone ashore to get warm and dry and announced no more racing today. There were no serious complaints around this decision with the theory being that there would be better days ahead over the next eight Sundays, so three races are scheduled for this Sunday (back to back).

The race team would like to express their appreciation to the Alton Water Sailing for the new-to-the-Frostbite committee boat... perhaps next year's enhancements could include heating and a toilet!

Race 1 Results:

PosHelmCrewBoat TypeClub
1Ben CleggPete NicholsonMerlin RocketBrightlingsea SC
2Matt House PhantomAlton Water SC
3Josh Richardson RS300Alton Water SC
1Stephen VideloMaddie HarrisRS200Waldringfield SC
2David ConlonSarah BinesRS200Brightlingsea SC
3Eddie BridleTyler StonebridgeRS200Brightlingsea SC
1A1exander Davey StandardRoyal Harwich YC
2Joshua Davies 4.7Brightlingsea SC
3Graham Ireland StandardRoyal Harwich YC
1Harry PynnAndrew JamesLarkWaldringfield SC
2Glenn Enkel LarkMaylandsea Bay SC
3Matt Taylor Aero 5Alton Water SC
1Richard Townley TopperAlton Water SC

Full results can be found here and photos can be seen on the Alton Water Sailing Facebook page and Tim Bees' photos on flickr here.