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Solo Open at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Jeremy Atkins 13 Jun 2010 14:27 BST 12 June 2010

22 Solos gathered to do battle for the annual Solo open Meeting at Draycote on Saturday 12th June. A good northerly breeze was blowing when the organisers arrived at the Club, but by the time the competitors had gathered for the briefing it had declined somewhat.

On the water for the first race, while adequate in strength, it was clearly going to be very shifty, with varying pressure across the race course. Up the first beat, it looked as though those who had gone right were sitting pretty until a gust bought 3 boats in from the left.

On the first reach of the Olympic course, Stuart Bush got into the lead, followed by Jeremy Atkins, but with some usual suspects stuck in the pack. These two held their positions for virtually all the race until Neil Wilkinson fought his way to the front of the chasing pack and then took Jeremy right at the end of the final run. In the short beat to the finish, Neil also managed to just pip past Stuart to take the race.

The wind died during lunch, but was reasonable by the start of the second race. Most of the fleet thought it was a starboard biased line again, but two boats chose to start on port and crossed the fleet. Jeremy Atkins led at the first mark, but was soon overtaken by Chris Brown. Jeremy got to the front again, but saw a healthy lead all but evaporate on the run as the wind died completely and then eventually filled in from behind. He just managed to round the leeward mark in the lead, but Chris Brown was now close behind and passed him up the beat. These positions were held to the finish. David Liddington finished third.

The wind then died completely, filled in from a different direction, and went back to the original one. Race officer Chris Avery moved the course and then set it back again before starting the sequence. Close to the start, the wind shifted again, leaving the line difficult to cross on starboard and the first mark reachable on port.

Chris Brown tacked onto port too early and encouraged David Liddington to do the same. Chris Brown realised he was over and went back, but David Liddington did not and was advised at the first mark. Meanwhile, first race winner, Neil Wilkinson, led round the first mark, closely followed by Jeremy Atkins. These two got clear away as the reach got tighter and turned into a beat for many of the following boats.

Neil and Jeremy held these positions to the end, with Neil pulling into a convincing lead, giving him the meeting. Behind them, Chris Brown had caught up to third place, which would have given him second overall until Stuart Bush passed him up the final full beat and held it down the run and on the final short beat to the finish.

It was a day of inconsistency, with only one boat getting 3 results in the top 7, but there is no doubt that Neil Wilkinson mastered the conditions and was a worthy winner.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
14628Neil WilkinsonShustoke11012
24860Jeremy AtkinsDraycote Water3224
35091Chris BrownRYA8145
44848Stuart BushShustoke2835
54605David LiddingtonRugby & Daventry63DNC9
65090Nigel DaviesDraycote Water513510
74843Hannah ShowellShustoke415711
84646Ian FirthNotts County941213
94969Ant ClayDraycote WaterDNC6814
104878Keith LancasterRugb y & Daventry771014
114205Mike GrayFishers Green109615
124877Mike BykeMidland2051520
135001Ian HarridgeNantwich14DNC923
144481D McCreaDraycote Water12121123
154186Kevin HopkinsMidland17111324
164399John ColemanDraycote Water11161927
174890David CurdChase15191429
184487Richard SiggersShustoke1317DNC30
193814Sue McCreaDraycote Water18141630
205061Nick ThorntonBartley16181733
214274Norman ClarkRugby & Daventry19DNC1837
224643Richard NeighbourMidland21202040

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