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F16 Open at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Simon Longstaff 21 Oct 2008 07:59 BST 18-19 October 2008

Nine F16s made the trip to Grafham for the Autumn open, Saturday dawned a little chilly and a light breeze was blowing. This was scheduled to build, and it did. We were racing as part of the fast single handed fleet (29 boats), but were racing for our own prizes.

The first race started in a good F5 with some gusts a little more. We were racing in a fleet of 29 boats and so a good start was essential. The first beat was a drag race for clean air and then a quick hoist and scream down to the leeward gate, remembering to avoid the finish line on the way. The gate was a little exciting with the F18s coming in very hot at times. I think we did 4 laps and half-way down the last run Simon Longstaff washed his sails from first place. Paul Warren sailed past, thinking his luck was in, only to wash his sails as well just before the leeward gate. Mark Pressdee picked up the pieces to finish first F16 with Paul second and myself 3rd.

The second race was more of the same with big gusts. Mark P got caught up with an F18 and had to retire with a broken tiller arm, I think Paul Warren washed his sails again. Simon finished first followed by John Terry and Dave Tugwell.

The third race of the day was sailed in more wind and some of the gusts were real rig shakers. Simon finished first followed by John and Dave.

We then retired to the club for supper and war stories.

Sunday dawned cool and windy and we went out expecting big winds, big speeds and scary bits! Again a good start was essential, Simon got a good one, but after a couple of laps put his slow shoes on and Paul sailed past upwind as if Simon was standing still. Paul finished first, Simon was second and John Terry was third.

In the fifth race Simon Retired hurt. Paul also called it a day and so the finishing order was John Terry and then Eric Noyau.

The sixth race, from what Simon could see, was a wild affair. I could see lots of boats on the courses were having problems. The whole F16 fleet had enough by now and so the job of packing up was undertaken.

Overall Results:

1st Simon Longstaff
2nd John Terry
3rd Jeffrey Knapman
4th Paul Warren
5th Eric Noyau
6th David Tugwell
7th Wayne Richards
8th Nigel Leeming
9th Mark Pressdee

A big thank you to the event sponsors Cook's of Bedford, the OOD and Grafham Water Sailing Club.

For those that fancy a sail between Christmas and New year, the Grafham Grand Prix will be on the 28th December.

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