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YHYSA Autumn Series at Rotherham Sailing Club

by Alastair Watson & Chris Cooper 18 Oct 2013 07:25 BST 12 October 2013

A damp although breezy day in Rotherham with some very interesting gusts! 9 boats turned out with a mixed fleet of Toppers, Lasers and Teras including a healthy mix of home sailors and visitors for the race day.

The first race was keenly fought form the start with Joel Wakefield moving into an early lead on the water in his Laser Radial. Unfortunately though he forgot the need to travel through the gate on each lap, which when unwound took him to the rear of the fleet. Almost like aquatic snakes and ladders! Abi and Matt from Rotherham then showed their local knowledge and sailed closely for the remaining 7 laps, with Abi unable to pass Matt in his full rig Laser but content that the handicap would leave her at the top of the Lasers.

A hot lunch followed and a welcome break from the persistent and wet drizzle. the OOD's then published race 1 results which with the handicaps coming into play saw Ana Patterson from Ripon take race 1 in her Tera Pro. Jenni Parsons was lead topper, so home advantage was split at the early leader board.

Race 2 then commenced in very miserable conditions with the rescue boat featuring umbrellas to ward off the rain, wimps! A slightly changed course but the gate remained Joel! With a diagonal beat across the pond the gusts were a morning memory. The 9 boats taking to the race now battled a weakened breeze and the home Lasers took it in turns to lead. Joel then built a commanding lead he would not lose and consistently gained against better handicaps. The Toppers and Ana had a battle royal in the mid fleet. Innes Bamford in the other Tera had been "encouraged " over the line before the starting hooter and so consequently remained as tail end Charlie. At 40 minutes Ana and Jenni entertained the race officials with some duelling in the gate marks in front of the OD box with Jenni making the windward mark first and then able to gain some clear water on Ana. Joel won this race on handicap so set up a tense race 3.

Race 3 was still wet and the gusts returned after taking their extended lunch. A changed course gave a test to individualism in picking the right lines and lifts with a different beat. A frantic bunched start saw Rhys Bamford and Jenni both over the line in their Toppers. The sniggers from Innes could be heard by the spectators! Joel made the windward mark as lead boat and the fleet strung out behind him. The Lasers were lead fleet on the water with Ana keeping ahead of the chasing Toppers.

Finally with the OOD's taking pity on soaked teenagers the shortened course was called at 40 minutes on Innes after Matt Chambers had already sought sanctuary in the clubhouse – "pack my boat away Dad!"

Joel took the lead boat on the water with Ana and the Toppers still duelling on the line. The question then hung in the air, had Joel pushed out far enough for a second win or would Ana have done enough to clinch the Rotherham honours?

By a narrow 21 second margin Ana won through on race 3 to take first place with Joel a worthy second. Abi was a consistent 3rd all day.

After hot showers and a frantic pack up, prizes were awarded to all the competitors for braving an inclement day but providing, once again, superb racing in best spirits and attitude. For the volunteers another great day and for the sailors, thanks! The day ended with the traditional vote of thanks from Ana as winner. Hope you enjoyed Rotherham, see you in 2014!

YHYSA Autum Series Results so far can be found here.

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