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Solo Open at Rollesby Broad Sailing Club

by Ian Ayres 20 Apr 2016 17:15 BST 17 April 2016
Close mid fleet racing at the Rollesby Broad Solo Open © Stuart Highfield

A shifting approximately north-westerly wind appeared to likely to give race officer, Pete Smith, a major dilemma as the fleet of 10 home boat and 10 visitors rigged up at Rollesby Broad on 17th April. Indeed the he apologised in advance at the briefing, just in case the wind played tricks during race one! In the event as the wind rose a little it settled into being fairly consistent and produced some excellent close racing throughout the fleet over all four races.

Race 1 saw a heavily port biased line; Jarvis Simpson arrived at the pin a few seconds too early and handed Alan Bishop an early lead which he extended significantly during the first lap, Mark Maskell and Ian Ayres started in slightly more conservative line positions to complete the top four at the first mark. Maskell and Simpson battled through the whole race to finish in that order with Andy Anderson escaping the pack in fifth. Half past eleven in the morning and we could have presented the prizes then! however we would have missed a great days sailing.

Race 2 saw Bishop and Maskell get a freak gust at the first gybe mark leaving the rest trailing in the following lull as they planed away down the broad never to be challenged. Ayres and Robert Hawkins were caught just in front of the running pack with an inevitable pile up at the leeward mark; initially Anderson benefitted most but Simpson slowly worked his way through to repeat the top five from race 1.

A slightly reduced but steadier breeze after lunch saw Maskell nail the first shift of race 3 to lead for most of the race with Pete Matthews in close pursuit; Bishop was over the line, gambled on a flyer and got the shift back to join the top bunch whilst Ayres clipped the leeward mark to lose contention. Determined not to have to sail a fourth race Bishop snuck inside Maskell at the last windward mark to seal the meeting.

With no Bishop to contest, Maskell led race 4 from the start. Ayres and Simpson had a cracking battle swapping places at least once on each of the six beats, Simpson sealing second only by a boat length, with Hawkins recording his best of the day in fourth place.

Overall Results: (top five)

1. Alan Bishop (Girton SC) 5608, 3pts
2. Mark Maskell (Blackwater SC) 5455, 5pts
3. Jarvis Simpson (Brightlingsea SC) 5406, 7pts
4. Ian Ayres (Rollesby Broad SC) 5232, 11pts
5. Andy Anderson (Hunts SC) 4506, 15pts

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