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Lymington Dinghy Regatta 2013

by Hannah Neve 16 Jul 2013 15:10 BST 13-14 July 2013
Fast Dinghies rounding the bottom mark during the Lymington Dinghy Regatta © Hannah Neve

The Western Solent's legendary sea breezes worked their magic for the Lymington Dinghy Regatta, jointly hosted for the first time by the Lymington Town Sailing Club and the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. More than 50 volunteers from both clubs contributed to make it a fantastic weekend and some great prizes were generously provided by Gill.

The sparkling sunshine cooked up a perfect warm Force 3-4 both days, giving exhilarating Solent racing for the locals and visiting sailors from as far afield as Australia and Hong Kong. The RS400s and Fast fleet blasted up and down the East windward/leeward course laid by the LTSC team under the guidance of race officer John Whyte, while the Fireflies, Scows and Medium fleet raced around a trapezoid course to the West, set by John Evans and his team from RLymYC.

On the East course in the Fast fleet the RS800s got off to a flying start until the leaders, Ella Mitchell and James Morland, broke their mast in the second race, letting Luke and Emma McEwen through. Nigel Walbank in his Musto Skiff was overnight leader, despite a capsize in the first race. Consistent sailing by Pete Barton and Heather Chipperfield, training for the Worlds in their RS500, put them in second place ahead of the leading RS400 sailed by Rob and Jan Martin. The Martins managed to beat the other 400s despite taking a 20% penalty for sailing the wrong course. Following up in the close RS400 fleet were local favourites John Cooper and Becci Wigley, with Rich and Fi Mayo sailing well to finish just behind them.

The most organised crew on the course was Jeremy and Max Vines' National 18, who were listening to the cricket commentary on their radio while waiting for the wind to fill in on Sunday morning! The requirement for the start line not to be used on the downwind leg caught out a few in the first race incurring a 20% penalty which set some further down the results than they would have liked.

The West course had very tight racing for the 27-strong Medium PY fleet, demonstrating that dissimilar boats can compete closely on handicap: Ian Sanderson won in his Blaze, just ahead of Clive Taylor and Donna Gittens in their Wayfarer, with the visiting RS200 of Paul Lewis and Rosie Brearley in 3rd.

The five visiting Fireflies stuck together like glue but local knowledge may have helped Jamie and Jo McEwen just enough to maintain their recent winning streak ahead of Dan and Ella Vincent, who beat 3rd-placed Steve Greaves and Caroline Edwards on a tie-break. Dan and Ella didn't help their cause by capsizing, nor Steve by arriving a little too fragile after his 40th birthday party, hitting his head on the boom and missing the first race.

The Scows, Lymington's largest fleet, made their debut at this year's regatta and enjoyed very close racing, albeit dominated in the end by Barry and Carol Dunning who counted straight firsts. Simon and Kitty van Hagan sailed a good final race to take 2nd place overall ahead of Philip Shute.

To round off two great days racing there were doughnuts for all the competitors coming ashore (a very effective incentive to remember to sign off), with supper and music each evening and some very enthusiastic dancing to the ever-popular Derek from the Frog and Frigate.

Overall Results:

Fast Handicap
1st Luke & Emma McEwen (RS800)
2nd Pete Barton & Heather Chipperfield (RS500)
3rd Rob & Jan Martin (RS400)

Medium Handicap
1st Ian Sanderson (Blaze)
2nd Clive Taylor & Donna Gittens (Wayfarer)
3rd Paul Lewis & Rosie Brearley (RS200)

RS400 Fleet
1st Rob & Jan Martin
2nd John Cooper & Becci Wigley
3rd Richard & Fiona Mayo

Firefly Fleet
1st Jamie & Jo McEwen
2nd Dan & Ella Vincent
3rd Steve Greaves & Caroline Edwards

Lymington River Scow Fleet
1st Barry & Carol Dunning
2nd Simon & Kitty van Hagen
3rd Philip Shute

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