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Shadow TT at Gurnard Sailing Club

by Paul Tanner 7 Jun 2009 22:21 BST 6-7 June 2009

The second event in the Shadow 2009 TT Series was sailed at Gurnard Sailing Club on the 6th and 7th June.

With an excellent local turn out and 4 travellers the 14 Shadow sailors were treated to a mix of conditions throughout the weekend. With an offshore South East breeze Saturdays sailing was to be the most challenging of the weekend.

The racing started in 18 knots of breeze with larger gusts and big changes in direction.

Race 1 was sailed in an offshore course and Robin Leather made the best of the start to lead from Ian Smith, Henry White and Laurie Guster. Carl Blenkinsop managed the first capsize of the day but many more were to follow in the challenging conditions. The leaders of Leather and Smith broke away from the rest of the fleet and eventually Smith overtook Leather to take the first win. At the finish it was Ian Smith first, Robin Leather Second and Henry White third.

Race officer Steve Cole set an inshore course for race 2 as the breeze picked up beyond 20 Knots. Local F18 sailor Doug Wright in a borrowed Shadow found the increasing breeze to his liking and challenged Leather and White at the front. At the finish it was Robin Leather first, Henry White second, Ian Smith third and Doug Wright fourth.

Race 3 saw a slight drop in the breeze and the downwind leg to East Lepe took its tall on the fleet with White taking an early swim. At the front it was Leather with Ian Smith and Paul Tanner fighting it out for third. Leather managed to break this traveller track requiring a quick on the water repair but he held on for the win with Tanner Second and Smith third.

The fleet retired to the club bar for the evening social and discussion on the day’s events. Chas Bedford’s pitch pole won the best capsize vote.

Sunday’s two races were again sailed back to back in a South Westerly breeze that came and went throughout the morning. The first beat against the tide involved short tacking up the island shore. Paul Tanner rounded the windward mark first closely followed by the pack that included Leather, Blenkinsop and Mike Martin. These four managed to break away from the pursuing pack. The breeze built to around 12 to 14 knots and a fast reach across the Solent was the highlight of the race. At the finish it was Leather first again followed by Tanner in second, Blenkisop third and Martin Fourth.

The final race was sailed in a dropping breeze and increasing tide with many place changes throughout the fleet. Leather, White and Martin made an early break on the fleet. On the final leg the breeze died completely and these 3 drifted closer together. White made the best of the conditions with his first win of the event followed by Leather second and Martin third. Tony Wyeth and Laurie Guster made the most of an offshore lift to fly through to fifth and fourth positions.

So after a challenging weekend it was local sailor Robin Leather first with Henry White from Brightlingsea second and Rutland’s Ian Smith Third

Final Top 10 Results

1 – Robin Leather Gurnard Sailing Club
2 – Henry White – Brightlingsea Sailing Club
3 – Ian Smith – Rutland Sailing Club
4 - Paul Tanner – Gurnard Sailing Club
5 - Carl Blenkinsop – Gurnard Sailing Club
6 – Laurie Guster – Gurnard Sailing Club
7 - Doug Wright – Gurnard Sailing Club
8 - Mike Martin – Gurnard Sailing Club
9 – Tony Wyeth – Gurnard Sailing Club
10- Chas Bedford – WSSC

The next TT is at Instow 18th and 19th July.

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