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Hornet Open at Port Dinorwic Sailing Club (Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli)

by Pippa Rogers 15 May 2017 09:39 BST 6-7 May 2017
Hornets at Port Dinorwic © Port Dinorwic Sailing Club

Strong, gusty winds greeted the competitors for the first Hornet open meeting of the year, which was held on the Menai Strait, in North Wales. The event was also a Miracle Open and the club's Vaynol Cup weekend, so there was plenty of local experience to share and a great atmosphere both on and off the water.

Seven hornets took to the water for the first race, held on a figure-eight shaped course. Due to the challenging conditions, there were capsizes for all except the first two boats but this didn't detract from the racing which set the scene for the rest of the weekend by featuring a number of close battles.

Sailing from the club line meant that there was a chance to come ashore and re-charge the caffeine levels as well as repairing minor breakages where necessary before the second race. Lighter winds allowed all the teams to complete the course less eventfully, with Steve and Liz Harrison enjoying the space and time to practice their trapezing.

Saturday evening featured a two-course meal at the club, followed by toasting marshmallows over a fire on the beach which has rapidly become a tradition of Port Dinorwic Hornet opens. Amy Barlow (who had stepped in to helm for Mark Hogan at the last minute) also provided an introduction to some circus skills.

Sunday morning was sunny with very light winds, forcing a postponement. However, the breeze quickly filled in enough to allow the fleet to get underway, this time racing a triangular course and featuring plenty of roll-tacking practice. Strong tides also punished those who misjudged the windward mark. Mike Owen and Steve Cooke had a great start and held the lead for a significant proportion of the race, before eventually being forced down into third place. Alan Butler and Tomos Jones used their local experience to engage in some close battles with Mark and Amy.

After lunch there were two more races, held back-to-back. Jo Powell and Jon Gamon had been improving during the weekend with the team of Amy/Mark Hogan also showing their speed, and in race 4 both boats took advantage of this to overtake Storky and Mark Taylor in the closing metres of the race.

Race 5 saw Strangler and Storky continuing their battle for the lead, although a broken rudder pin made life difficult for the guys from Scotland, and they had to settle for second place. By winning the last race, Strangler and Pippa Rogers won the open meeting overall and took home the Welsh Hornet Trophy which was recently returned to the class.

Thanks to all those at Port Dinorwic who supported the event and made it happen, and to all the sailors, particularly those who made long journeys to attend.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stStranglerPippa Rogers213221‑2115
2ndStorkyMark Taylor215121‑426
3rdJo PowellJon Gamon2115‑RTD342312
4thMike OwenSteve Cooke2156353‑OCS415
5thAmy BarlowMark Hogan2168DNF453‑DNS20
6thAlan ButlerTomos Jones2180466‑7521
7thSteve HarrisonLiz Harrison21065‑776624

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