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Finn Inland Championship at Alton Water Sports Centre

by Martin Pavey 22 Apr 2015 16:39 BST 18-19 April 2015
Coming up for the start during the Finn Inlands at Alton Water © John Glasspool

Sponsored by Copy IT digital solutions and Seamark Nunn

The 2015 Finn Inland Championships were held at Alton Water in Suffolk and attracted an increased turnout of previous years. Our thanks yet again to regular event sponsors 'Copy IT' and 'Seamark Nunn'.

With the race team being brought out of Frostbite hibernation it was business as usual to meet the request for short sharp races with minimal turnaround times. With eight races scheduled over the weekend a success of sorts can be claimed as all races were started but only seven completed – read on for more details.

A total of 31 entrants took part, with the majority being standard race Finns plus a few classics, with helms ranging through Legends to Juniors. A special mention should be made of the two IRL sailors who travelled across the breadth of Wales and England to reach the East Coast sailing hotspot of Alton Water.

A true 'Inlands' - with the reservoir being all of ½ mile from salt water and 5 miles to the open sea, the sailing conditions were true to form with plenty of shifts and with the courses and lines being set to the average conditions and directions, the sailors needed to be in the right place at the right time to maximise race gains. Those of a 'left' persuasion got the best from the weekend.

Saturday

With options for three courses the consensus was for windward / leewards for all four of the first day's races. This course was set on a longish diagonal of the reservoir with the windward mark toward the draw-off tower in the NE (of the reservoir not Newcastle).

The briefing set expectations for the day regarding the 'O' flag and when the black flag would come into play. The fleet were amazingly well behaved (and with a good line set) they got away for all starts under a P flag in a north easterly breeze of 12-16 mph and bright sunshine. It was impressive to see the close racing and some energetic downwind work. A few capsizes thrown into the mix saw places change significantly.

At the end of the first day's racing it was high scoring but close at the front with Oisin McClelland on 10 points, John Tremlett on 13 points, Martin Hughes on 19.5 points and Allen Burrell on 21 points; other notable competitors looking to be in the prizes once they could discard a big score included Julian Smith, Colin Leonard and Neil Robinson.

Sunday

At the OOD's suggestion and with prior changes to SIs, the course was modified for Sunday's four races. A narrow trapezoid was set to ensure that there was separation between the beat and the run as it was felt that with the lighter wind of 5 – 8 mph from the North, it could be crowded at the top and bottom of the course. This new course worked even if the wind didn't help, with the windward mark being re-laid for two of the four races. The lighter wind provided even closer racing and occasionally new names at the front of the fleet, notably Cameron Tweedle, Will Patten, Vince Hayter and Howard Sellars.

The line discipline from Saturday had disappeared along with the sunshine and the black flag was brought into play for three of the four starts – and with the race officer having some sympathy with the competitors the first start of each race was under a P flag. Never has such a committee boat line bias been set to encourage the fleet to stay right but again, just like Saturday, left and early was the way to go.

The last race of the day in possibly the best breeze was restarted under a black flag only for the fleet to park up at the top of the course. After a successful seven races over the weekend the decision was made to abandon the race and call a halt to the racing. No dissent was heard from the fleet as they were rounded up and sent ashore and with enough races sailed to bring in a discard.

When not out on the water the fleet were entertained and fed with a Saturday evening meal at the local marina at Woolverstone, a full English breakfast at the Sailing Centre café on Sunday morning and tea, cake and doughnuts after racing and at the prize giving.

No Alton race report would be complete without mention of the Dragon Boat. Well not to disappoint, it appeared out on the water fully crewed on Sunday – fully crewed but without the drum that was (accidentally?) left ashore. Peace and tranquillity reigned and long may it continue.

In summary a great event on and off the water and Alton extend an invitation to the Finn fleet to return soon.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoFleetClubCategoryR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1John Tremlett642Standard Race FinnITCHENOR SCMaster3271‑111216
2Julian Smith720Standard Race FinnMRSCGrand Master5.516‑1212621.5
3Burrell2Standard Race FinnTHORPE BAY YCGrand Master473753‑1329
4Martin Hughes567Standard Race FinnWARSASH SCGrand Master5.5644‑76732.5
5Oisin McMclelland9Standard Race FinnDONAGHADEE SCOpen24131310‑1833
6Robert Deaves10Standard Race FinnWALDRINGFIELD SCMaster99‑11564538
7Colin Leonard4Standard Race FinnBALLYHOLME YCOpen155‑14991140
8Cameron Tweedie98Standard Race FinnOXFORD SCJunior12‑1391338146
9Richard Sharp90Standard Race FinnBOUGH BEECHMaster151021525‑2649
10John Heyes61Standard Race FinnMRSCGrand Master108162‑217952
11Will Patten52Standard Race FinnAWSCGrand Master14158610‑17356
12Michael De Courcy708Standard Race FinnMENEGHAM RYTHE SCGrand Master718148‑19111775
13Vince Hayter581Standard Race FinnWSCMaster11‑2319191712482
14Jordan Swindon27Standard Race FinnTHORPE BAY YCJunior181215112215‑2393
15Neil Robinson679Standard Race FinnMENEGHAM RYTHE SCGrand Master83109(BFD)DNCDNC94
16Howard Sellars77Standard Race FinnWARSASH SCLegand‑261624161220896
17Simon Moss521Classic with CarbonKEYHAVEN YCOpen16201310‑24211696
18Mark Petty‑Mayor695Standard Race FinnTHORPE BAY YCGrand Master1921171816‑2310101
19Jon Tweedle548Standard Race FinnOXFORD SCMaster2314(RET)2281621104
20Jerry Andrews62Standard Race FinnAWSCMaster1319181723‑2419109
21Roddy Steel491Classic with CarbonKEYHAVEN YCGrand Master‑2726252441815112
22Fred van Arkel924Standard Race FinnCHEW VALLEY SCGrand Master1717(RET)DNC181414112
23Edward Thorburn595Standard Race FinnNEWHAVEN & SEAFORD SCGrand Master24‑252020202212118
24Paul Brown58Standard Race FinnNOTTS COUNTY SCGreat Grand Master22(DNF)2621271922137
25Wylam22Standard Race FinnMRSCGreat Grand Master‑29282123142527138
26Simon Hoult8Standard Race FinnHAYLING ISLAND SCMaster201112(DNC)BFDDNCDNC139
27Sander Kooy1Standard Race FinnTBYCGrand Master2124(RET)DNCBFD1320142
28Cy Grisley486Classic with CarbonKEYHAVEN YCMaster(RET)302325152624143
29John Torrance99Standard Race FinnCREEKSEA SCGreat Grand Master2522222626‑2828149
30Peter BlickXClassic with CarbonKEYHAVEN YCGreat Grand Master‑28272728252725159
31James Wyburd658Standard Race FinnMRSCGreat Grand Master3029(RET)27DNCDNCDNC182

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