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CoastWaterSports 2014

Vortex Open at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Mike Gower 28 May 2012 13:45 BST 26-27 May 2012

The Vortex fleet joined in for the Laser multi-class event held at Grafham Water Sailing Club over the weekend of 26/27 May. The forecast of wind and wall to wall sunshine was absolutely spot on with conditions more like the Mediterranean than the Midlands.

We were starting with the 5000’s so it was a good plan to try to keep out of their (vast) wind shadow.

Phil Whitehead (or is it Whitbread ….) was off for a clean start and storming upwind in the 17 knot breeze with Ed Corteen and Mike Gower hot on his heels. Tacks were split looking for those elusive shifts and trying to avoid all the dirty wind from the other fleets on the course.

At the windward mark Mike just managed to sneak in front of Phil and all set off downwind. On the last lap Phil returned the favour and held this lead to the finish with Ed coming in third chased hard by Mike Collins in fourth.

With the increased breeze in the second race it was all close at the first mark with Phil leading but Mike capsized on one of the gybes allowing everyone else past. Phil stretched out a commanding lead with Mike eventually managing to overhaul Ed and Mike C to take second again.

The final race of the day followed a similar pattern although unfortunately Steve Carr was still trying to recover from a capsize that left him turtled for quite some time.

Sunday morning was more of the same although the wind had dropped off a bit and swung slightly more North. The lighter conditions favoured Mike who was third round the windward mark behind Ed then Phil; downwind he managed to overtake both and hold this lead to the end with Phil coming in second and Ed third.

The wind now picked up again and Phil had a storming port tack start to never be challenged, holding the lead till the end.

In the last race again it was very shifty up the first beat with Mike and Phil crossing tacks it was anyone’s guess to the outcome; Mike got around the mark first , Phil had some kite problems and it remained like this till the end.

So overall Phil was first, Mike second, with Mike Collins third after some epic battles with Ed who came in fourth.

A fantastic weekend's sailing, let's hope the weather is as good for the next event at Wilsonian 7/8 July. See you there!

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