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Heron Northern Championship at Redesmere Sailing Club

by Philip Lund & Paul Thomas 12 Oct 2012 09:43 BST 6 October 2012

A total of nine boats participated in the 2012 Heron Northern Championships held once again at Redesmere SC with eight visitors joining the one boat from the host club (that of Philip Lund). Andy Dale had again driven up from the far corner of Essex on the morning of the event. A number of the helms were new to Heron events or at least to travelling to them, including three from Notts County SC and young Nathan Plant from Wimbleball SC, sailing with his father as crew. Five boats were sailed single-handed and four with a crew. These competed with PY handicaps of 1346 and 1363 respectively.

In the days leading up to the event the weather forecast had been consistently for winds of 10-12 mph, with gusts of up to 25 mph, conditions which - with the forecast sunshine - appeared to promise good sailing conditions. However the forecast winds seemed to disappear in the hours leading up to the event and on the day the helms had to really search for wind, particularly in the morning. The Herons shared the water with 6 Comets so 15 boats were looking for space and wind in a relatively small area, giving the lake a very busy feel!

The early pace in the first race was set by home club helm Philip Lund who led at the first mark only to be passed by Jim Robison on the following run. These two then maintained their positions throughout the first lap before Andy Dale overtook Philip during the second lap and then Jim during the third and last lap, going on to finish almost three minutes clear. Philip came third followed by Roger Stephenson and George Stanton, all of these being well ahead of the rest of the fleet.

Refreshed by lunch, the competitors set out for the two afternoon races which were run over slightly different courses, the wind having shifted and increased slightly. The second race was dominated by Jim Robison, sailing in his recently acquired orange Butler Boats built FRP Heron, he leading at the end of each lap of the five sailed. He finished well ahead of the next three boats, the leading one of which was that sailed by Paul Thomas who had moved steadily up through the fleet only to discover that his lead over the next finisher, Andy Dale, was not quite sufficient to offset the latter's handicap advantage.

It was thus "game on" for the third race as both Andy and Jim went into it with a first and a second place: this was to be the decider! In fact the pair dominated the race, holding the first two places at the ends of each of the four laps and finishing just 24 seconds apart and about five minutes ahead of the next boat. Yes, it was Andy who eventually won but what a battle he had had with Jim who clearly benefited from being in his new boat! Paul finished third, followed by Philip, and then, after five minutes, by George and Roger. The remaining boats sailed a lap less than these and thus got places based on average lap times.

Despite the relative lack of wind everyone found it an enjoyable event. The Bell Trophy (Northern) was duly presented to Andy Dale and each of the three leading helms were given a glass plaque signifying the event and their overall position. Thanks must once again go to Redesmere SC for hosting this event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
19891Andy DaleAmanda HarrisEyott SC1212
210317Jim Robison Huddersfield SC2123
310032Paul Thomas HDCA7336
410044Philip Lund Redesmere SC3647
59866Roger Stephenson Huddersfield SC4468
6507George Stanton Notts County SC55510
77529John ChambersJohn DayNotts County SC67913
89859William StantonGlyn MyattNotts County SC88715
99320Nathan PlantJonathon PlantWimbleball SC99817

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