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Kestrel Winter Nationals at Stewartby Water Sailing Club

by John Glasspool 30 Oct 2012 15:16 GMT 28 October 2012
Kestrel Winter Nationals at Stewartby © John Glasspool

Although the final event of the year for the Kestrel Fleet traditionally attracts several visitors to Stewartby this was not the case this year. Perhaps the early published start of 10.00am, a forecast of cold (3º) and rain was not too encouraging for what proved to be a very enjoyable competitive three races for the six boats that took to the water.

At the start of race one it was anybody's guess who would make the mark first with all swapping places. It was not until the third lap that the order was established and at the finish it was, first; Liam Pike/Al Luxford in Kestrel 1551 'Granny Apple', second; Dave Hearsum/Paul Jarvey Kestrel 1574 'Breakin' Wind', third; John and Olive Glasspool Kestrel 1537 'Reflex'. Having had a period of time away from sailing, Ernie (Dusty senior) Miller was recently reunited with his old Kestrel 791, 'The Menace' which he promptly restored, and finished in fourth. Ernie and Gale showed that there was still a lot of speed left in the old uns, boat that is!

Gusty winds which were shifting through about 20º meant crews had plenty of work to do with lots of place changing particularly during races 2 and 3. The course changes from race 1 with the addition of extra marks meant that on occasions the 'Granny Apple' crew left marks on the wrong side and had to unwind themselves, however they recovered the lead at the finish of race 2 followed again by Breakin' Wind and 'Reflex'

Race 3 saw much changing of places and at the final mark with about 100 meters to the finish line, three boats rounded almost overlapping, with 'Breakin' Wind' taking the gun by a bow from 'Reflex' followed by 'Granny Apple' a few seconds later.

Though the number of entries were low there was competitive racing throughout the fleet, with interesting and challenging courses set by last minute stand-in race officer Mark Norman. The comments from the spectators was that they had not seen such entertaining racing for a long time. Of particular interest was the speed of 'The Menace'. Despite not setting a spinnaker and having not been on the racing scene for about 17 years she was snapping at the heels of the leaders. This should give encouragement for those of you who have an older Kestrel to try racing.

Overall Results:

1st K1551, Liam Pike and Al Luxford, 2pts
2nd K1574, Dave Hearsum and Paul Jarvey, 3pts
3rd K1537, John and Olive Glasspool, 5pts
4th K791, Ernie Miller and Gale Engl, 8pts
5th K1554, Kevin Edwins and Kevin Jones, 9pts
6th K1490, Tim Browning and Nick Jones, 10pts

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