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Heron and Mirror Open at Yeadon Sailing Club

by George Dawson & Philip Lund 26 Jun 2012 06:58 BST 17 June 2012

Tricky conditions

This event took place one day after very strong winds affected much of England and Wales and, in particular, the Heron Southern Championhips at Chipstead SC. By the Sunday the strongest winds had headed off over the North Sea but inland Yeadon SC, alongside the Leeds/Bradford airport, was still affected by gusty and sometimes swirling winds, though with frustratingly still spots near to some marks on the lake. The winds were generally from the south-west and of forces 2/3, gusting 4, but proved challenging for some of the competitors who nevertheless enjoyed a dry day, with good spells of sunshine in the afternoon, after a dull and cloudy morning.

Unfortunately the turnout was low: just 4 Herons and one Mirror, all but one of these being from the home club. The visitor was Philip Lund who, despite several previous visits to the club, needed a reminder of the club's unique means of listing the course on the board – one in which the first mark to be rounded is indicated with a circle denoting it as the first mark in the part lap.

However although Philip seemed to find that confusing he could only blame himself for getting the starting sequence wrong and thus starting late in the first race. Dennis Beard and Tony Dufton got off to good starts, beating down the lake towards the clubhouse, until eventually the first mark proved too elusive even for Dennis who surrendered his lead with regret and Tony led the two round the remaining laps thereafter, eventually lapping the tail-enders. Philip initially caught up with David Hinks, who was sailing with a new crew, but David later passed him by a "tricky mark" to finish third. The sole Mirror, sailed by mother and daughter team Joe and Harriet Lee, kept a steady presence in the middle of the fleet throughout the race despite the tricky conditions.

Lunch was then taken and David Hinks decided that enough was enough. Then, minutes before the start, when Philip decided to carry out amendments to his running rigging, a gust swirling around the one island in the lake blew his boat over, with the result that the remaining fleet had to set off without him, and the rescue boat had to help him pull his boat out of the mud. Thus the lone Mirror was left in hot pursuit of the remaining two competitive and closely matched Herons. This time, in spite of the valiant efforts of Tony, Dennis managed to obtain and maintain a very narrow lead, and finally triumphed.

The wind excelled itself, in the third race and helms were tested to distraction (or should that be 'destruction'?). Philip returned to the fray for more punishment but he too eventually decided that he had had enough, leaving the remaining two Herons and the Mirror to give another thrilling display of resolution and "never say die". In the end, the younger man (Tony) deserved his narrow victory in that race and overall. A close run event with Jo and Harriet only 10 seconds behind on corrected time a remarkable achievement in the tricky conditions.

Once again Yeadon SC lived up to its reputation for warm hospitality and good food and Tony Dufton, as winner of the event, duly thanked all those who had run the event and provided the catering.

Heron Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1108Tony DuftonYeadon SC1212
210070Dennis BeardYeadon SC2123
310327David HinksYeadon SC3DNSDNS8
410044Philip LundRedesmere SC4DNSRTD9

1st Mirror: M 59154, Jo and Harriet Lee (Yeadon Sailing Club)

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