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Laser Vago Open North Event 2016 at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Dave Baxter 7 May 2016 09:02 BST 30 April - 2 May 2016

Starting a Vago event on a Saturday usually means people will begin arriving on Friday night. Open North 2016 took things a stage further with the first guests arrived at lunchtime to beat the traffic chaos threatened by the Tour de Yorkshire event as it passed the club on Friday afternoon.

More boats started arriving from 5pm to take advantage of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club hospitality and free camping!

And so began the biggest Open North event so far. 18 boats graced the waters of Grimwith reservoir over the three day Bank Holiday weekend experiencing a cold snap from the weather contrasted by under floor heating in the changing rooms, with hot food from Rural Recipes who covered breakfast, lunch and evening meals throughout the event.

In the training room, Dave, Ed and Mike provided advice on technique and tactics to go along with Vago specific video coaching. These lively Q&A sessions are always part of the event and cater for Vago sailors of all levels: beginners to advanced. As usual, the emphasis was on fun so some of the single handed beginners decided to double up in each others boats while others took advantage of the volunteers waiting to join the fleet and have their first taste of a Vago.

On the water coaching preceded the first 4 races on Saturday afternoon which saw National Champions Dave and Kate hold off World Vago Speed Record holders John and Jack sporting their new orange foils followed by former Northern Champion Ed. Clive, David, Frank and Thomas with their crews battled ahead of the pack. Special congratulations go to Lee and Dan who could have been in 4th place at the end of the afternoon but instead received the first DSQ in a Vago Open North event... or any other Vago event... ever! In doing so they retained the 'Demolition Derby' prize yet again as they proved that port flyers don't always work when you're in the middle of the line. Smiles all round and plenty of capsizes as a squall came through left everyone ready for tea before another early evening sail to get some of the beginners helming and on the wire.

Sunday morning saw a strengthening wind as the fleet joined the Windward Leeward Open event with their own start. This gave some of the beginners the option to go and practice their handling, or join the race with more room on the line but still plenty of action around the course against some faster boats. Meanwhile, Kate jumped back into a 29er and disappeared into the distance leaving Dave sailing single handed in the stronger winds. With late arrivals Stuart and Julian hot on his tail, Dave managed to hold on at the front with Lee and Dan powering up to third in front of Ed in 4th. Clive and Miles were both close behind with Paul helming from the trapeze for the first time!

Then the wind picked up even more so the fleet decided to do some training after lunch instead, working on boat handling and mark rounding. The increasing wind provided lots of thrills and spills with additional sound effects from Jenny and Eleanor as they teamed up for the first time.

Eventually the fleet headed for shore and food in the increasing wind before a couple of boats went back out in the evening for some additional training.

An exhausted fleet managed to stay conscious through the quiz before heading for the tents.

Monday's wind was wild and the decision was made to stay in the training room for tactics and theory before lunch.

The early afternoon saw work on rig settings and trailing techniques while Stuart and Julian went out to join the windsurfers and have a crack at the speed record. The waves proved too much of a hindrance, but they still topped 17mph. Great job!

Back on shore, there were a few entrants for the annual trapeze speed tacking competition. With defending champion Lee unable to compete, there were some good efforts by Jenny and Victoria but Kate took the title with 11.5 seconds.

The final closing ceremony wrapped up the event and handed out lots of prizes for two days of racing and special 'achievements'. Well done everyone!

With the event over, the fleet is now looking towards Carsington and Tudor before returning to Yorkshire Dales again for Vago Summer Camp!

Thanks to everyone involved with the event, especially Paul, Gabi, Dan and Chris for the photos, Rural Recipes for the food, Mike and Ed for the coaching, all the escort boat teams, the stand-in crews, YDSC for the facilities and Dave for the event management.

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