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Noble Marine Solo Winter Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by Will Loy 21 Mar 2016 12:28 GMT 19 March 2016

The Noble Marine Solo Winter Championship was held on Saturday 19th March in perfect 'winter' conditions, one month after the event was postponed due to strong winds. The 52 competitors who made the trip to the beautiful Chew Valley lake were greeted by a nice north easterly of between 10-15 mph.

Noble Marine are the NSCA Class sponsor and Phil Kilburn (5650) provided water bottles to all competitors before racing and spot prizes for acts of brilliance/stupidity. Phil was also racing his brand new Ovington Solo and it looked a peach.

Class 'on the water judge, Steve Watson was the fourth official and would oversee the days racing and called no fouls, testament to the fair sailing followed by all competitors. It does appear that this system of education is filtering down to open and club level, a great reason to sail a Solo.

PRO John Smalley, no stranger to the Solo circuit, albeit about 20 years ago, set a classic triangle sausage course of three laps and reminded the assembled sailors that England would be going into battle with the French at 8pm so clean starts would be appreciated.

Race 1

Out on the water some of the competitors were obviously from Wales, Scotland, Ireland or Italy as it took three attempts and the black flag to get the 'game' underway. There were a number of BFD's, Nigel Appleton, Tim Jonson and Stephen Penfold the culprits and the shame was that they were near the top of the pile at the first mark. They were also all club members but the PRO had taken no bribes (or they hadn't offered enough).

Dave Mitchell popped out of the busy committee boat end and rounded first, I would normally have been whisked up to the top mark to video the action but my ride was still onshore doing vital repairs or stuffing down the excellent bacon butties on offer. Chris Brown, National Champion Charlie Cumbley and the hapless Nigel Appleton were in pursuit and with the first reach being very broad, sinking low would pay. Cumbley moved into the lead from Brown, D. Mitchell, 2015 Super Series Champion Andy Davis and Tim Jonson (BFD). Grand master John Webster (GM is 60-69) was having a stormer, he had spent the previous evening studying Cumbley's Y+Y article and the wise words were obviously proving effective as he moved into 5th. The wind was holding at around 14mph but with the top mark set towards the island, pressure and direction fluctuated, the result was some snakes and ladders and hard luck stories post event. Cumbley held the lead from Brown over the next few legs while Davis and Matthew Frary improved. There was some confusion when the leading two hardened up for the fourth beat (beginning of lap 3) while Davis and Frary spotted an un-snuffed finish mark and rolled the dice. Alas, there was no shortened course and Frary was the biggest loser while Davis went on to finish 3rd with Cumbley and Brown took line honours. Ian Hopwood and Webster completed the top 5.

Race 2

PRO Smalley was straight into the race 2 countdown much to the appreciation of the sailors, the cold and TV programming incentivising the fleet to start cleanly, ably backed up by the prominence of the 'drapeau noir'. Tim Jackson nailed the beat and rounded first, his new HD sail doing the business and he was chuffed to be in the mix. Andrew Wilde, Roger Lumby and Tim Jonson were in close pursuit, Jonson this time starting cleanly and obviously knows Chew like the back of his hand. Davis and Cumbley were just in the top ten and making ground. The wind was dropping slightly but Wilde found the conditions favourable for the Winder/D+/North 3DL and extended for a comfortable win. Davis and Pete Mitchell were mauling and scrummaging the whole race with Mitchell eventually taking second but only after some close calls on the last run. Tim Jackson held 4th and John Webster was again the model of consistency in 5th. Mike Sims was having a bad day having suffered a broken tiller union joint just before race 1 (DNS) he was doing turns in race 2 at a very busy wing mark but still managed 10th at the end.

Race 3

With the reaches becoming a bit of a slog, PRO Smalley switched to a windward /leeward course for race 3. Nigel Appleby added an OCS to his BFD to complete his day. Like the English forwards he can certainly not be accused of not trying. Ian Hopwood, a keen and very skilled rugby player in his youth was not in the mood to hang around and led at mark 1 with Cumbley and Davis up close and personal. Matt Greenfield, another Chew Valley sailor (they have a talented pool of Solo sailors) was 4th from Chris Brown who was looking to add to his 2nd in race 1. There was a scrum or two at the leeward mark, setting two bottom marks would have split the fleet but where is the fun in filming that. Cumbley and Davis extended away to have their own personal battle, exchanging the lead on three or four occasions before Davis finally prevailed having sunk deep on the run and held for the inside lane at the bottom mark. Cumbley's 2nd was enough to secure the title 1-6-2. Davis 2nd overall with a 3-3-1, Hopwood took a very creditable 3rd and Wilde pulled through to 4th and 3rd overall 10-1-4. Hopwood would take fourth overall 4-14-3 and Pete Mitchell fifth 7-2-6.

  • Nigel Davies was first Veteran (50-59) in 13th overall.
  • John Webster was first Grand Master(60-69) in 7th overall.
  • Brenda Hoult was our Lady competitor and 31st overall.
Massive thanks to the team at Chew Valley who turned around the races in good time, to Alex Timms who is doing a great job of promoting the Class at Chew, to Phil Kilburn and Noble Marine for continued support of the NSCA. Thanks also to North Sails who are sponsoring the Super Series 2016 of which this event is part of, to on water judge Steve Watson and to Nick Fisher who ably filled my shoes at the prize giving.

Next up is the Spring Championship at Draycote Water, April 9th.

See you on the water.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5651Charlie CumbleyTeign Corinthian YC1‑623
2nd5597Andy DavisBlithfield SC‑3314
3rd5492Andrew WildePapercourt SC‑10145
4th5645Ian HopwoodNantwich SC4‑1437
5th5387Pete MicthellWarsash SC‑7268
6th5643Chris BrownDraycott SC2‑779
7th5655John WebsterCarsington SC55‑2210
8th4961Tim JonsonChew Valley Lake SC(BFD)8917
9th5583Martin Frary 612‑1418
10th5491Michael SimsCarsington SC(DNF)10818
11th5586Matthew FraryNorfolk Broads YC8‑131018
12th5535Tim JacksonPapercourt SC‑1841620
13th5642Nigel DaviesDraycott SC16‑26521
14th5363David MitchellWarsash SC915‑1824
15th5548Matt GreenfieldChew Valley Lake SC‑20161228
16th5544Graham Cranford‑SmithSalcombe YC1119‑2930
17th5332Roger LumbySalcombe YC229(DNC)31
18th5469Guy LonsdaleSouth Cerney SC12‑282032
19th4809Stephen PenfoldChew Valley Lake SC(BFD)112334
20th4669Mark FullerPapercourt SC17‑321734
21st5270Iain McGregorSalcombe YC24‑271135
22nd5569Nick RawlingsHayling Island SC23‑351336
23rd5489Tim MorganChew Valley Lake SC1521‑3736
24th5396Nigel ThomsHill Head SC13‑362437
25th4372Ken ComrieChew Valley Lake SC‑29241539
26th5650Phil KilburnNotts County SC14‑343044
27th4572David RedpathSt Mary's Lock / Tynemouth SC19‑422544
28th5024Rob MitchellChew Valley Lake SC26‑401945
29th5479Nigel AnnettTata Steel SC‑28182846
30th5494John SteelsStarcross YC‑25252146
31st4157Brenda HoultHayling Island SC3017(DNC)47
32nd4904Terry PalmerUpeer Thames SC‑35222648
33rd5638David WalfordFishers Green SC3120‑3851
34th5476Sam WoodcockNB YC2131‑3652
35th5630Jonathan MoonWestern SC‑32292756
36th4472Jim SternerRaneleigh SC‑43233457
37th4040Jason TaylorTata Steel SC27‑413259
38th5282Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney SC‑41303363
39th4336Alex TimmsChew Valley Lake SC‑39383169
40th5356Graham Don 3339‑4472
41st5138Patrick OversPaxton Lke SC37‑443572
42nd5610Gerry GoodfellowSt Mary's Lock / Tynemouth SC34‑433973
43rd5352Mike WilkieDesborough SC4037(DNF)77
44th5113Steve TurnerChew Valley Lake SC4533(DNF)78
45th4988Gary Molton 38‑464179
46th5351Keith HillFOJSC42‑474587
47th4569Christopher DeaneChew Valley Lake SC(DNF)484088
48th3819Rick KnappChew Valley Lake SC46‑494288
49th5353Simon ChapmanChew Valley Lake SC36(DNC)DNC89
50th4224Nigel JamesFishers Green SC47‑504390
51st3578Nick Fisher 44(DNF)DNC97
52nd5200Nigel AppletonChew Valley Lake SC(BFD)45OCS98


Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

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