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505 Open at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Adam Kenney 30 Sep 2013 12:25 BST 28-29 September 2013

The UK 505 fleet headed to Shoreham this weekend for the last two day open meeting at a sea venue for 2013. The competitors arrived with plenty of time thanks to the leisurely 2pm start, surely no-one could miss such a late one? Hmmm...

The teams launched with smiles at about 1.30pm into a lovely 15 knot breeze, and headed right out the river to start race one of the two scheduled that day. As the first race got under way at 2pm, National Champions Andy Smith and Tim Needham rocked up after sitting for a few hours in M25 traffic!

Back on the water a great race was panning out. For the top three it was very close, Ben Iliffe and Simon Lake took honours at the first windward mark after demonstrating their blistering upwind speed. However downhill, Neil Rabbitts/Adam Kenney pulled out front with Ben/Simon 2nd and Peter Bennett and Tyler Harmsworth 3rd.

The second beat saw no place changes with Neil/Adam pulling out a small lead on the chasing two. However at the leeward mark, disaster struck. A spinnaker sheet over the boom and a crash jibe left Neil/Adam going for a swim letting Ben/Simon & Pete/Tyler past. A completely uncharacteristic amount swearing was involved once upright!

The last beat saw Pete/Tyler edge in front of Ben/Simon with Neil/Adam storming up behind trying to regain the time they had lost swimming. A jibe-set at the windward put Neil/Adam back into contention hot on the heels of Pete/Tyler but the inevitable 'S' flag gave Pete/Tyler a very well deserved 1st place with Neil/Adam 2nd and Ben/Simon in 3rd.

On shore, Andy/Tim had managed to get rigged and on the water in record time and as the last boats were finishing a red kite could be seen blasting it's way down to the start area to be greeted with "nice of you to join us", "about time!" and other such helpful comments.

A wind shift meant the second race had a slight delay (welcomed by Andy/Tim) but was soon underway in a building breeze. Andy/Tim got the windward first, Neil/Adam 2nd and Pete and Tyler 3rd. Andy and Tim's superior boat handling gave them the edge and after a few perfect jibes had pulled out a convincing lead. However the second run saw those chasing close the gap on the leaders but not enough to overhaul them. A howling 3rd beat left a lot of the teams hanging on for dear life with the lighter teams struggling a bit. Andy and Tim however used the built breeze to consolidate their lead and win the race.

After a day of such good racing in almost perfect conditions the UK 505's sampled Shoreham SCs sterling hospitality with a delicious curry and plenty of well-earned beer.

Sunday greeted the fleet with a much lighter breeze with plenty of holes!

Race 3's first beat was all about keeping in the pressure. Andy/Tim were first round the mark with Pete/Tyler 2nd and Ben/Simon 3rd. With a very shifty racecourse the teams split up a little with the only place change being Neil/Adam overhauling Ben/Simon downhill.

The final race of the event saw the wind drop even more, Andy/Tim again showed their skill and got out front and stayed there. Pete/Tyler's local knowledge and superior shift calling saw them in second and Neil/Adam remained in 3rd all the way round. With no place changes and only two laps due to a dying breeze the final race saw the top three boats finish in their overall positions.

Another great weekend sailing 505s! A massive thanks to Shoreham SC for putting on another great event.

Next we are off to Burton SC for the last open meeting of the season followed by autumn training at Grafham SC. Hope to see you there!

Overall Results: (top three)

1st 9088, Andy Smith & Tim Needham (Notts County SC)
2nd 9002, Peter Bennett & Tyler Harmsworth (Shoreham SC)
3rd 9104, Neil Rabbitts & Adam Kenney (Burton SC)

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