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Noble Marine 2012

D-One Eastern Championships during the Gorleston Beach Regatta

by Ben Falat 2 Jul 2015 08:01 BST 27-28 June 2015
D-One Eastern Championships during the Gorleston Beach Regatta © Kevin Rollesby

The D-One Eastern Championship-2015 was held at Gorleston over 27/28 June as part of the Gorleston Beach Regatta. This mixed regatta has huge history, evidenced in club correspondence with The Admiralty, who annually used to lay twelve special flagged Race-Cans in circular compass-configuration, 1½-mile diameter, around a central one. Those were the days!

D-One sailors had had over two weeks of intense lead-up training at their Grafham Open, and then their Suntouched Championships at Highcliffe.

Saturday's conditions bode well initially with a reasonable wind-strength, but before the start a classic sea-breeze battle ensued, such that some competitors could not even find a way through the 'Dead Zone' to the start-line. Race Management got fed-up waiting and progressed a start-sequence anyway which most boats managed, though Ben Falat's D-One only crossed many, many minutes later.

During this quasi-windward-leeward race (sausages anyway!) at one stage there were spinnakers charging towards each other on opposite legs and courses with game of 'chicken' being played as to who would leave it latest before the new wind hit them on the nose; the lesser the number of sails carried, the better the control, so Phantoms, Laser and Tasar did well.

Gradually conditions settled and another two regular races could be held in absolutely champagne conditions; bullets went to Chris and Angie Sallis twice in their Tasar, and to Ben Falat.

Sunday appeared to be on track for some cracking racing in a fine SW F3; Martin Browne eagerly joined in with Sallis reverting to his D-One, however shortly after the first start the wind veered further to the west making the race extremely one sided and favouring spinnaker boats on a long open fetch back towards the 'gate'.

D-One lead on the tighter leg alternated between Sallis & Falat for who might take a brief gust best to drive off against a strong tidal current. Meanwhile Browne was consistently keeping speed and driving low; this latter policy paid handsomely as the front two over-stood their mark (following more of a bent-sausage-course!) and finally Browne took 2nd place with Sallis just hanging-in-there.

In front overall, Richard Fryer and David Houghton had a dogged (reach-in-breeze & screw-in-lull) battle in their RS400s.

After two completed rounds of this everyone was pretty fed-up with the general non-racing and the plug was pulled; by now any strength in breeze was starting to fail as forecast as well as some huge apparent shifts in direction.

Race management persisted for some while trying to lay any sort of course but by then most of the fleet had self-elected to head home. Eventually any hope of racing for the day was abandoned and results were governed hugely by Saturday's efforts.

Overall Sallis (Tasar) was 1st, Falat (D-One) 2nd and Favell (Phantom) was 3rd.

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