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Enterprise Open at Frampton on Severn Sailing Club

by Philip Kirk 30 Oct 2013 06:37 GMT 27 October 2013

You either had to be brave or mad to turn up for an open with a storm looming. 16 sailors fell into this category on Sunday 27th October for the annual Enterprise open at Frampton and more came to watch.

The first race started in near survival conditions with sudden 35 knot gusts and large wind shifts keeping the helms and crews on their toes. Phil Kirk and Lewis Bennett (FOSSC) were first to the windward mark and led until the finish but it was not all plain sailing. Ian Wakeling and Sean O'Neil (BCYC) were close on their heels until their kicker broke. They fixed this on the water to finish 5th. Most had at least 1 swim including the leaders who were knocked flat while on a reach by a sharp gust. Paul Young and Megan Ward (Midland SC) used their experience of many opens to finish a comfortable second. Charles Cutts and Annabell Patching (FOSSC) sailed round with cruising sails to finish 3rd but found that they had split their GRP hull along a chine. That would explain the amount of water in the tanks then! Ben Gribble and Callum Bennett were fast in a straight line but appeared to struggle turning corners. Ben developed a habit of falling out of the boat at the wrong moment leading to a lot of swimming. They ended up nearly sinking after damaging a buoyancy bag.

While the OOD was preparing for the second race a gust of 43 knots blew most boats over. The debris was sent ashore for lunch and to await better conditions.

4 boats contested the 3 remaining races in slightly less wind. Ben now with dad Bill Gribble crewing led at the first mark only to capsize on the bear away. Phil and Lewis capitalised followed by Ian and Sean, Paul and Megan. They held these positions to the finish.

In the third race Phil and Lewis capsized on the first beat (helms fault) and were playing catch up from then on. Ian and Sean held a slim lead from Ben and Bill until they capsized (allegedly the crews fault this time) allowing Paul and Phil and Ben through. Paul and Megan led until the final mark where Phil and Lewis split tacks on the final beat to the finish to win by 50mm.

The final race saw the closest racing of the day. It was still very windy with out of control reaches, sail flogging gusts and nasty shifts trying to catch you out but the sailors were growing used to it. Phil and Lewis led at the first mark but with a rapidly improving Ben hot on their heels. On lap three Ben rode a gust down the reach passing Phil. Ian and Sean were also close behind and these three boats had a very close battle with Ian and Sean finally taking the win.

The sailors thanked Frampton's British Moth fleet for running a successful event in testing conditions, the galley team for providing warm drinks and feeding them and the spectators for the occasional cheer to keep them going.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrew Sail NoClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1Phil KirkLewis Bennett22975FOSSC11133
2Ian WakelingSean O Neil21067BCYC52417
3Paul YoungMegan Ward22901Midland23247
4Ben GribbleBill Gribble21870FOSSCDNC4329
5Charles CuttsAnnabel Patching15678FOSSC3DNCDNCDNC23
6Bill Gribble Helen Johnstone21870FOSSC4DNCDNCDNC24
7Richard Leach Oli Hanson23140Penarth YCDNFDNCDNCDNC30
8John JordanAndy Tully23007FOSSCDNFDNCDNCDNC30
9Ben Gribble Callum Bennett19632FOSSCDNFDNCDNCDNC30

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