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Kestrel Open at Goldhanger Sailing Club

by Graham Hoy 5 Jul 2014 21:25 BST 28-29 June 2014

As an Essex Kestrel sailor I was told there is one open meeting you MUST do, Goldhanger! We made the short journey from the Blackwater Sailing Club and received a warm welcome from the Goldhanger fleet.

The racing was round the club marks and started from the start box on the sea wall. The first race was sailed in a F2, the first leg was a good beat with boats making gains along the shore out of the tide. Several boats changed places around the first lap but 1627 Henry and Chris Richards held their lead from the first mark, followed by 1460 Dusty Miller sailing with his dad Ernie Miller and then 1574 Graham Hoy and Hannah Parker. The wind built slightly for the next race and brought some rain with it, this race was led from start to finish by Dusty and Ernie.

Graham and Hannah were second round the first mark but after a navigational error they were 5th by the next. There were a few place changes during the race but by the end Dusty and Ernie were comfortably in the lead followed by 1549 Graham Richmond and Tim Bailey then again Graham and Hannah were in third.

We all managed to pack our boats up before the rain really kicked in and the social begun!

Sunday morning looked a beautiful day for sailing, the sun was out and there was a good breeze. But by the time the time the race started the wind had increased and the sun had disappeared. The Richards enjoyed the stronger winds and won the first race by quite a margin. Further back in the fleet, Graham Hoy sailing with Maria Richards as crew, the boat handling in the stronger winds was not so slick with several boats having an unsettled time on the first run! I believe everyone made it round ok and there wasn't too much drama. Steve and Lin Worf were second followed by Dusty and Ernie in third.

For the final race of the open the wind dropped slightly to a nice F4 with the occasional bigger gust and lull. Dusty and Ernie pulled out a lead by the first mark and again led the whole way round. They were followed for the first two legs by Steve and Lin Worf then Graham and Maria. Eventually Graham and Maria made it passed Steve and Lynn on the beat and chased after Dusty to no avail. On the second lap the Richards pulled through to third which is where they finished.

The evening was spent with the fleet being creative with newspapers and cardboard. I would like to thank Goldhanger Sailing Club and its members for putting on a great event. After my first visit I will definitely be coming back!

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