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Laser Vago Open North at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Dave Baxter 9 Jun 2017 09:26 BST 26-29 May 2017

Vago Open North 2017 got underway at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club with a questionable weather forecast. The week leading up the May Bank Holiday three day event had predicted varying conditions ranging from flat calm with torrential rain and lightening through to bright sunshine and a Force 5!

The reality turned out to be a mixture of all the above and 15 Vagos from as far afield as Cambridgeshire, the Midlands and Wales took it all in their stride, with a social sail on Friday night for the early arrivals getting Paul back onto the wire and giving Andy a chance to show off his new dry capsizing skills.

With the daily briefing and some video coaching to get everyone thinking about how they could improve their boat handling over the day, some start training preceded the first set of slightly short format races on Saturday.

The winds proved interesting, starting light, dropping to nothing and then switching direction to give a brief but wonderful windward/windward course before scattering the fleet as the wind swung back and forth after the kites went up!

The frustration and entertainment was quickly followed by some blasting for the leaders and a mad dash for cover for the less experienced as the wind build to a Force five over the last 20 minutes of racing!

With boats sailing single and double handed, the conditions really showed off the different Vago rigs through the day.

Dave & Kate, Terry & Vanessa and Lee & Dan all shared the bullets in some tense racing. No wonder everyone was ready for the Class Association Saturday 'Spag Boll' extravaganza: great job Gaynor and all the Vago catering team.

Sunday dawned and the breeze quickly built as the Vagos joined the first YDSC Club race before heading ashore to lighten the load on an already busy safety team. The benefit of the dynamic format of the event is that the training and coaching groups can be moved on and off the water to compliment the racing, whatever the weather. At one point, four groups were running simultaneously with Ed Deacon working with rig and settings, Kate Mellor running dry trapezing class, Dave Baxter coaching asymmetric trapezing on the water and Mike Woodhead coaching boat handling from the rib!

The wind dropped off over the day meaning more races before finishing off with a Sunday BBQ by the fire pit.

Monday started with training before lunch and then some ten minute short format races in the afternoon, including the double point medal race. This proved decisive in the final positions: starts were critical and slight mistakes at the front were heavily punished. Paul & Victoria and Ed & Gaynor/Eleanor moved up into the top three but Dave & Kate held onto their Open North title.

Prizes at Open North aren't just about winning, they're also about improving, so special prizes were also given out in recognition of the many achievements reached by the newer sailors. Congratulations go out to those who completed their first race event, finished races without capsizing in difficult conditions, nailed their starts or flew the kites in a breeze. Everyone had a story to tell!

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7MedalPts
1Dave BaxterKate Mellor1814Yorkshire Dales SC231113128
2Ed DeaconGaynor/ Eleanor164Hunts SC4254513418
3Paul FullerVictoria Rose463Redditch 3525422821
4Dan TrowsdaleLee Carter742Yorkshire Dales SC14433441025
5Clive Sleath 892Draycote SC10DNC796561245
6Chris EverittEleanor Everitt408Yorkshire Dales SC7DNC6DNFDNC75647
7Terry PresdeeVanessa James538Yorkshire Dales SC81322DNCDNCDNC48
8David Smith 680Yorkshire Dales SCRTDDNCDNC87671453
9Andy Stenson 130Port Dinorwic6DNC10108891657
10Paul DelamereSteve Evans 1083Yorkshire Dales SC96869DNCDNCDNC70
11Bill AndersonToby Anderson772Yorkshire Dales SCDNCDNC97DNC98DNC81
12Mark DawesKathryn Dawes694Yorkshire Dales SCDNCDNCDNCDNFDNC10101883
13Kat MorseMo535Yorkshire Dales SCDNCDNCDNCDNF1211112083
14Phil Taylor 97Yorkshire Dales SC5DNC111111DNCDNCDNC86
15Chris Lightly 1349Yorkshire Dales SCDNCDNCDNC1210DNCDNCDNC102

Special Awards:

  • Cleanest sails award (for the most capsizes): Kat and Mo
  • Travel Guro (for the longest journey): Ed
  • Most improved: Andy
  • Demolition Derby award (collision expertise): Ed and Eleanor
  • Youngest Competitor: Kathryn

The next Vago event at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club is Summer Camp in August:)

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