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Cowes Dinghy Week at Gurnard Sailing Club

by Joyce Martin 5 Aug 2016 16:19 BST 23-27 July 2016

Gurnard Sailing Club welcomed around eighty entries to its annual dinghy regatta, sailed over five days, from 23rd to 27th July. Competitors were treated to champagne sailing conditions, which allowed the race officer to set challenging courses across the western Solent for the six classes.

The Shadows mustered a fleet of fourteen and looked impressive. Racing was close between the leading three, but it was Paul Bowen - recently crowned national champion - who took the overall honours from Shaun Kellett.

In the fast handicap group, Andy Budgen - visiting from Weston SC - impressed, literally flying across the water in his foiling Moth and, though they fought hard, the pairing of Tim Harrison and Anna Marriott in their B14 could not halt Budgen's challenge.

Competition was strong in the medium handicap group, where former world champions in both the RS100 and RS500 classes battled it out with the RS400s. With five wins, Tim Wilkins and Ben Symons took the series from Alistair Dickson.

The RS Aero fleet, which has grown quickly at Gurnard, enjoyed close competitive racing. Going into the final race of the week, it looked as if Andy Warren would be taking the series but - with a third bullet - Giovanni Belgrano could discard a DNS and take the series.

Ted Blowers, sailing in the Laser handicap group, started the week the way he intended to carry on, with a win, while Bryan Sargeant took his first of four second place finishes. Luke Margham sailed consistently well to take third place overall, and with it the John Davies Memorial trophy for best cadet.

It was the slow handicap group that attracted the most entries, with crews taking to the water in a mixture of Picos, RS Fevas, Toppers and Mirrors. Racing was close but it was the crew of father and son, Robin and Thomas Leather, who - with a bullet in the final race - prevailed over seasoned performer, Mike Peddar.

Trophies and prizes, donated by Henri Lloyd, were handed out at a supper on the final evening of the regatta. Tim Wilkins, after presentation with the Yachts & Yachting trophy for overall best performance, thanked organisers and helpers for everything they had done to make this such a successful and enjoyable regatta.

Overall Results:

1 Paul Bowen
2 Shaun Kellett
3 Tom Dawson

Fast h'cap
1 Andy Budgen
2 Tim Harrison/Anna Marriott
3 Ashley Holmes/James Gadsby

Medium h'cap
1 Tim Wilkins/Ben Symons
2 Alistair Dickson
3 Graham Deegan/Judith French

Aero h'cap
1 Giovanni Belgrano
2 Andy Warren
3 Tim Troeber

Laser h'cap
1 Ted Blowers
2 Bryan Sargeant
3 Luke Margham

Slow h'cap
1 Robin & Thomas Leather
2 Mike Peddar
3 Kate & Thomas Gibbs

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