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Civil Service Dinghy Sailing Championship 2014 at Netley Cliff Sailing Club

by Iain Mackay 29 Jul 2014 10:54 BST 19-20 July 2014
Civil Service Dinghy Sailing Championships 2014 © Dave Purcell

The Civil Service Dinghy Sailing Championships were held once again at Netley Cliff SC over the weekend 19-20 July 2014. The regatta is organised by the Civil Service Sailing Association on behalf of the Civil Service Sports Council, which sponsors the event. An entry of 28 boats, most from Littleton and Netley Cliff Sailing Clubs, took to the water under the orders of the Principal Race Officer, David Greenway.

This year there was a strong contingent of juniors, who unfortunately could only sail on one of the days because of other commitments. For the first time in memory, the CSSA Commodore, Graham Dalton, also competed (and did rather well). Winds on the Saturday were respectable without being in any way challenging, and the first race got away only a little after the earliest advertised start time. Because the weather forecast had promised thunderstorms in the afternoon, the PRO was keen to get two races in before lunch, so two "sprints" were duly completed. A pattern quickly emerged, in which Graham and Lucy Dalton (Laser 2000) finished first on corrected time from Martin Hughes (Finn). Elizabeth and Roger Pescod (Tasar) tied with Jonathan Jowett (Solo) for third.

Martin Hughes, the reigning Civil Service Champion, fought back in the third race that began after lunch, finishing first. Vanda Jowett (Solo) nipped into the second place slot, while the Tasar retained third. At the end of the first day, Martin Hughes was leading the standing, followed by Graham and Lucy Dalton and Elizabeth and Roger Pescod.

The evening barbeque, with disco entertainment, was appreciated by all as usual, although several of the participants left early to conserve their strength for the following day.

Sunday morning, as has so frequently happened in recent years, dawned calm and warm. The scheduled 10:00 start was not to be, but by 11:20 a discernable breeze from the NNW persuaded the PRO to call the fleet to the start. Race 4 began (after initial postponements) in no more than F1-2, but the little breeze that there was held up and the race ended with Graham Dalton leading Martin Hughes and Vanda Jowett. Graham slipped down several places in the next race, allowing Martin back into first place, but regained form for the final race, to win ahead of Martin Hughes and, once again, Vanda Jowett.

So, the final rankings saw the Overall and Civil Service Champion trophies go to Martin Hughes. The Enterprise Bowl, awarded to the winner of the largest represented class in the regatta, went to Vanda Jowett (Solo), and the Littleton Bell, awarded to the Club with the six highest ranked boats, went to – Littleton again.

Trophies were presented by Graham Dalton, who had so narrowly avoided having to present a trophy to himself. Martin Hughes thanked the organisers on behalf of all the competitors, with a particular mention for David Greenway's skill in reading the wind on the second day so that the full six races could be completed. Peter Robins (Netley Cliff SC Commodore) expressed his thanks to all the volunteers, with a special mention for Avril and Rick MacDonald who had organised all the catering for the weekend. He also thanked the PRO, David Greenway and Mary his wife, both of whom had been on the Committee Boat all weekend, and the many Netley Cliff volunteers who had as usual worked to make everyone welcome.

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