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Highcliffe Sailing Club Icicle Open Series - Day 2

by Sarah Desjonqueres 30 Jan 2017 12:11 GMT 29 January 2017

Rusden tightens grip on Icicle crown

As we learnt a fortnight ago, one must take the weather forecast with a pinch of salt. The threat of torrential rain and kitesurfer only winds which hung ominously over Sunday morning's racing failed to materialise and instead we were gifted a perfect SE F3-4 and an empty Christchurch Harbour in which to race.

Again, nearly 30 boats came to race from far and wide with sailors from Parkstone YC, Spinnaker SC, Lymington Town SC, Keyhaven YC, Mudeford SC, Christchurch SC and Highcliffe SC all gracing the start line in an array of dinghies from RS Aeros and Finns to Solos, an OK, a Europe plus a well represented selection of all the flavours that Laser has to offer.

Race 3 managed a clean start with the beat splitting the pack perfectly down the middle as they raced out to the windward mark hiding just off Hengistbury Head followed by 2 broad reaches back over to Mudeford and tighter more flying reach back home. It was Hayles (Finn – CSC) who headed up the charge with Barton (RS Aero 9 – LTSC) nipping constantly at his heels and Arnell (Finn – CSC), back from nearly a year off due to injury, battling just behind. Never letting the big boys get too far ahead were Hughes (Laser – PYC), Rusden (Radial – HSC) and Rushworth (OK – CSC) chasing the Finns down at every opportunity. But as the wind found a little more energy so did Barton's Aero 9 accelerating past the 'Finn Display Team' and taking the race on the water 1m16s ahead of the nearest Finn, Arnell.

But the sizeable lead earned by Barton was not enough to secure him the win. Never letting the faster boats gain too much ground were Rusden and Barnes (4.7 – CSC) squeezing every inch of speed out of the course and ending race 3 in 1st and 2nd places respectively after correction leaving Barton having to settle for 3rd position.

Whether it was the ebbing tide imparting a sense of urgency or simple over excitement on their part, the start of race 4 saw to undo Bell (Europe – HSC) and Arnell, both caught over the line. This moment of racing over-enthusiasm left Arnell effectively starting from the back of grid forcing him to chase down boat after boat in an attempt to regain his position. At the front Barton was again dominating the field, keen to gain enough ground to keep his win on the water. But Rusden and Barnes were on fire, and as the wind began to increase and the reaches become even more fun, their tenacity and speed paid off keeping them up with the main pack and in with a shot. In the end the line honours were again Barton's for race 4, crossing the finish 1m19s ahead of Grisley (Finn – CSC) and Hayles and wrapping it all up just before all the water disappeared from the harbour.

The handicap system however always levels the playing field, and so it was after correction that we see Rusden, never far behind, reign supreme, bagging his second win of the day and securing his spot at the top of the overall leaderboard. Barton's hard work had paid off this time giving him a 2nd place leaving the young Barnes to be rewarded for all his efforts with a very respectable 3rd position to put with his 3rd and 4th places from the first 2 races.

Results after Day 2: (top three)

1st Rusden
2nd Barnes
3rd Arnell

Next races will take place 12th February at 11am. Further information can be found at

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