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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Lightning 368 Grand Prix at Manor Park Sailing Club

by Simon Hopkins 13 Apr 2017 21:54 BST 8-9 April 2017

Summer duly arrived for the Start of the Lightning 368 2017 Grand Prix Series as the fleet converged on Manor Park SC in Staffordshire for the now traditional two-day opener.

As always this kicked off with a splendid training day run by Robbie Claridge where sail settings and boat trim were the topics for the morning and a bit of team racing in the afternoon livened things up before the fleet retired to the pub to prepare for the open the next day.

Many an admiring glance was taken at Alan Griffin's brand new boat which had only seen the water for 30 minutes before the day to check it floated! (Brave Alan)

Eleven boats in all took to the start line for Race 1 in a light and shifty breeze. The type that can drop you 5 places in the blink of an eye.

Paul White showed his new determination and rounded ahead just as the wind shifted to leave everyone else taking an extra tack and give him some breathing space. Simon Hopkins followed ahead of Spike Daniels, whilst Ian Ransom discovered why everyone who had sailed the day before was leaving a wide berth to the mark as he hooked the floating mark line.

As the laps unfolded Simon had his work cut out holding off Spike when Ami Hopkins (no relation) sailed past them both to challenge Paul for the lead and after a few pace changes Paul managed to hang on with Ami 2nd and Simon 3rd.

Race 2 was held immediately after and it was Spike who took first mark honours ahead of Paul and Simon. However that was far from over as these three swapped positions continuously throughout the race before Spike held on for the win with Paul 2nd ahead of Simon.

The fleet then retired for a fantastic Lunch prepared by Emma Dodd who had kindly loaned her boat to another club member so she could concentrate on the food. No one in the fleet was complaining about that!

As the boats sailed out to the main lake for race 3, the battle for the meeting was between Paul and Spike but Simon was smiling as the wind had finally arrived and sitting out was definitely on the cards. The wind had also shifted and now allowed a longer beat the full length of the lake and Simon soon found it too his liking and led round mark one ahead of Spike and Paul. Unfortunately, the wind died under the trees and Spike and Paul sailed serenely past with Jason Gallagher in tow to join the front runners.

By the final beat the wind was back and with Paul going right and Simon left Spike tried to cover both boats. However beating Paul was priority and Simon slipped round ahead of Spike and then in a déjà vu moment in the same dead patch Paul sailed round the pair of them and held on to take the win with Spike 2nd and Simon 3rd.

So it was close but Paul once again took the Manor Park SC open meeting, which is becoming a bit of a habit. Spike was 2nd and Simon 3rd.

Thanks to the team at Manor Park who, as always, were so welcoming - and to Emma Dodd in particular for looking after us so well.

Next event is the Northern Championships at Denholme SC in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside on the 6-7 th May.

Overall Results:

1st 406 Paul White (Draycote SC)
2nd 294 Spike Daniels (Oxford SC)
3rd 420 Simon Hopkins (Up River YC)
4th 181 Ami Hopkins (Swarkstone SC)
5th 110 Ian Ranson (Bolton SC)
6th 417 Jason Gallagher (Denholme SC)
7th 407 Bryan Westley (Aldridge SC)
8th 402 Stephen Hodgson (Denholme SC)
9th 101 Ian McMillan (Manor Park SC)
10th 409 Lee Bratley (Manor Park SC)
11th 422 Andy Griffin (Severn SC)

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