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Streaker Open at Newhaven & Seaford Sailing Club

by Laurence Venus 24 Jul 2014 13:24 BST 19 July 2014
Streakers at Newhaven & Seaford © Laurence Venus

The forecast threatened thundery showers and on arrival it looked like this could be the case. However, we only had a few drops of rain while we were rigging. The RO set a course consisting of a trapezoid but with a loop on the shore side of the course, starting from a committee boat.

The first race got underway at 11:10 am. By now the an offshore wind had picked up to 13 mph with gusts up to 17 ENE but after the first three legs the wind dropped away to 5 - 6mph SES before settling to 9-10 mph SE.

First across the line was Mike Hobin followed closely and to windward by Ian Bradley with Graham Butler close behind. At the windward mark Mike was in the lead closely followed by Graham then Ian. On the downwind leg Laurence Venus (local sailor) managed to catch up with Ian but failed to overtake. Positions didn't change much although Graham and Mike had a close battle out front. On the final lap Laurence managed to pass Ian downwind then just before the finish line Graham managed to overtake Mike to win with Laurence 3rd and Ian 4th, Alan Simmons 5th Gary Hogan 6th and Nick Carter 7th.

Race 2 was started at 12:20 pm. It was now sunny and hot with a pleasant 10 mph SE breeze paralell with the shore hence a little less gusty, however, later during the race it dropped away completely.

Ian was first away followed by Graham and then Mike. Next up was Laurence, then Alan, Gary and lastly Nick. Graham led for the first lap but Ian took the lead up the beat. On the last beat Graham was then overtaken by Mike and Laurence but then as we approached the windward mark the wind had dropped to almost nothing. By this time Ian had managed to creep round the mark leaving Mike, Laurence, Graham and then Alan all bunched up and really struggling to make the mark. Laurence 'drifted' into second place but caught the mark as the incoming tide pushed him into it. He rounded and then did his penalty turns. The other three were still struggling. Alan looked as though he might catch the other two but whilst standing he suddenly overbalanced and tipped in leaving Mike and Graham to finally get round. At the finish it was Ian 1st, Laurence 2nd, Graham 3rd, Mike 4th, Alan 5th, Gary 6th with Nick 7th.

After lunch and a bit more course mark adjustment, Race 3 started at 2:35 pm. Only 6 boats competed in the race as Nick decided to stay ashore. At the start Mike was again in the lead but with Alan next across the line and to windward of him. Laurence was tucked in behind Ian closest to the pin end but but apparently just squeezed over the start line as the race started and was eventually called back to re-start while the rest of the fleet carried on up the beat. Graham who was behind but to windward of Gary gained on the leaders up the beat with Laurence still at the back. By the middle of the run back along the shore, Mike was in front but Graham had caught right up followed by Ian and Laurence who had just passed Alan. By the end of the first lap the order was Graham, ahead of Mike with Laurence third and Ian 4th. In the second and final lap Laurence moved ahead of Mike after some nifty downwind sailing leaving the rest of the order unchanged. At the finish Graham was 1st, Laurence 2nd, Mike 3rd, Ian 4th, Alan 5th and Gary 6th.

Overall the meeting was won by Graham Butler with Laurence Venus second and Ian Bradley third, clinching it from Mike Hobin on a tie break with a win in race two to count against Mike's 2nd placing. Alan Simmons was 5th, Gary Hogan 6th and Nick Carter, not sailing in the third race finished 7th. The weather was kind, mostly sunny although there was a shower and thunder and lightning threatened. The breeze was variable but its strength and direction meant that launching and beaching were easy and a good sail was had by all.

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