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Kestrel Open at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Henry Richards 2 Oct 2010 20:25 BST 25-26 September 2010

On Saturday 25th September seven Kestrels turned up for the Royal Harwich Open in wet and windy conditions. With the breezes at around force five and forecasted to freshen throughout the day, five boats started the first race.

The race officer set an upwind/downwind course for the first race, with all entrants starting cleanly. Paul Jarvey/Sue Glasspool and Dave Hearsum/Gareth Fay battled up the first leg, followed by Jeremy/Ian Drummond. Rod/Jenny Brown-Lee capsized before the last buoy in an attempt to avoid Henry/Chris Richards leaving themselves turtled with the spinnaker up and in need of assistance from the rescue committee. After a considerable time in the water they decided against starting the second race. Dave/Gareth finished 1st, holding off Paul/Sue. Henry/Chris then capsized on the finish line, but held off Jeremy/Ian and finished 3rd.

Race 2 became the final race after the race officer’s decision to move the final race of the day to Sunday due to freshening conditions. Four boats started the second race on a new course and all started well. Henry/Chris were first to the mark, followed very closely by the rest of the fleet. After some confusion as to the location of the second mark, Dave/Gareth followed by Paul/Sue rounded, with Henry/Chris in a close 3rd. The next leg was a broad reach with Dave/Gareth launching the spinnaker immediately. Paul/Sue opted out and were consequently overtaken by Henry/Chris on their way to the front of the fleet. The race finished with Henry/Chris in 1st, followed within seconds by Dave/Gareth, then Paul/Sue finished with Jeremy/Ian braving the conditions to finish in 4th.

The second day was wetter but with more forgiving wind, and the same five boats took to the water for the start of the 3rd race. All boats were close together during the first leg, before Dave/Gareth and Paul/Sue pulled away on the downwind leg. Due to close racing quarters with the fleet of lasers also competing, the second lap was raced amongst them. Dave/Gareth emerged from these conditions in the lead all the way to the line, with Paul/Sue in 2nd, Henry/Chris just managed to keep in front of Jeremy/Ian who finished in 4th with Rod/Jenny in 5th.

Race 4 was set as a ‘P’ course in shifting winds, creating challenging conditions for all competitors. Paul/Sue battled with Dave/Gareth throughout the race finishing in that order. The second half of the fleet trailed behind, finishing with Henry/Chris 3rd, Jeremy/Ian 4th and Rod/Jenny 5th.

Going in to race 5, Jenny protested that no amount of ‘Next’ vouchers would keep her on the water and so they called it a day early on (I am anticipating a lack of cake for the next fortnight). Dave held off Paul to secure 1st place overall, with Paul/Sue 2nd, Henry/Chris 3rd and Jeremy/Ian an admirable 4th after finishing all races.

A good weekend was had by all with the usual fantastic reception, lovely facilities, wonderful food and a cosy bar to retire to after racing. The rescue crew was kept busy and were very much appreciated. We look forward to next time!

Overall results

Pos	Boat	Helm / Crew			Results			Points
1	1574	Dave Hearsum / Gareth Fay	1/2/1/2/1		5
2	1548	Paul Jarvey / Sue Glasspool	2/3/2/1/2		7
3	1563	Henry & Chris Richards	3/1/3/3/3		10
4	1510	Jeremy & Ian Drummond		4/4/4/4/4/		16
5	1573	Rod & Jenny Brown-Lee		dnf/dns/5/5/5		20