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Heron Open at Yeadon Sailing Club

by Philip Lund 24 Jun 2013 08:14 BST 15 June 2013
Herons at Yeadon © Paul Thomas

Yeadon Sailing Club's annual Heron / Mirror Open was held on Sunday 15 June, the day after the Heron Nationals were held at Chipstead SC in Kent. Whether or not that affected attendance is far from certain though in recent years there has been virtually no overlap between the attendees at the Heron events held in these two locations. Fortunately the strong winds of the Saturday had abated in time for this event but, starting from a gentle breeze, the wind gradually dropped during the day to almost a dead calm by the end of the third race.

A total of nine boats enrolled for the day, with just one Mirror joining in the event and with it being included in a composite set of results. Strictly this is not a valid procedure for assessing the Herons alone since the placings of the Mirror could have affected the overall Heron result but, fortunately, this problem did not arise. The eight Herons did however have a great competition between themselves and no fewer than five entered the last race as potential overall winners.

Yeadon SC always sets its courses so that the finishing line is directly in front of the clubhouse, thereby allowing the duty officers to sit in relative comfort whilst recording the finishing order and times of the participating boats and giving spectators a good view of the finish. Linked to this arrangement is the club's unique, and almost biblically based, display of the course in which the first mark to be sailed round is always shown as the last on the board – 'the first shall be last' etc! Not content with that, the club's location and setting provides lots of distractions for visiting competitors – starting from small, radio controlled yachts through strolling families enjoying the park setting to multi-coloured jets roaring into the air from the adjacent airport. However set against that is the club's welcoming hospitality and its excellent catering: it would be a pity – for the HDCA - if, due to lack of support, this event were to cease. This year there was just one visiting Heron – Philip Lund of Redesmere SC in Cheshire.

The first race began in what seemed to be a usual way, with the many time winning combination of Dennis and Jo Beard steaming ahead from the start. However they then hit a wind hole at the first mark, allowing Chris Dufton to pass them, with most of the rest of the fleet getting into a tangle at this mark. However the Beards did get out of the hole and they and Chris and Tony Dufton, sailing separately, had a keen tussle before Chris crossed the finishing line just ahead of Dennis and Tony, though with Dennis winning on handicap.

Racing resumed in the afternoon after the provision of an excellent lunch and this time it was Tony Dufton who got away first and built up a substantial lead. The wind dropped considerably during this race and although Philip Lund narrowed Tony's lead a little he could not catch him before the finish. During tea it became clear that, with five boats as potential winners of the event, the last race would be crucial and competitive.

As in the second race, Chris Dufton appeared to get a poor start but, in this case, he tacked off early and led at the first mark. The lead then changed several times during that first lap which ended with Tony in the lead followed by Dennis / Jo and Philip. Tony's lead widened considerably during the next lap, with Dennis / Jo losing out on a tricky and fluctuating run, leaving Chris and Philip to pursue Tony who thus emerged as the winner of both the race and the event. They did cut his long lead a little but were now engaged in a tussle of their own, with Philip eventually pulling ahead before the last mark so as to claim second place, both in this race and overall.

The day ended with the usual and well-deserved expressions of thanks to all who had contributed to making it such a pleasurable occasion.

Overall Results:

PosBoat TypeSail NoHelm (& Crew)R1R2R3Pts
1Heron S/H108Tony Dufton4112
2Heron S/H10044Philip Lund6224
3Heron Crewed10070Dennis & Jo Beard1455
4Heron S/H2876Chris Dufton2535
5Heron S/H10327David Hinks3346
6Mirror *59154Jo & Harriet Lee56RTD11
7Heron S/H7741Glenis Burgess77DNS14
8Heron Crewed8620Kieron Wright and Chris Paddy88DNS16
9Heron Crewed8143Tricia Atkinson and Catherine Ward99DNS18

* Deleting the race positions for this Mirror would affect some of the overall points totals for the Herons but not the overall result.

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