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Snipe South Eastern Championship at Blackwater Sailing Club

by Iain Marshall 24 Jul 2017 11:37 BST 22-23 July 2017

Another great weekend of racing at Blackwater Sailing Club over the weekend of 8th and 9th July for the South-Eastern Championships. The event was held in conjunction with the National 18 meeting who had four boats racing compared to eleven for us.

Friday nights arrival saw birthday celebrations for some and repairs to holes in the bottoms of boats for others. Thankfully none of which interrupted with the sailing plans!

Racing started on Saturday with a light breeze of force 2 rapidly dropping away to pretty much nothing half way through the first race. Ian Gregory and Mike Ker held their nerve and led the way round the first lap in incredibly shifty conditions, some as much as 45 degrees. It was however local boat sailed by Guy & Alison Welch who took the first gun from Ian and Mike by a nose. This was to set the tone of the weekend of another exceptionally close weekend of Snipe Racing.

After waiting under AP for the wind to arrive for the second race, a slight zephyr did eventually materialise but was again incredibly shifty which played into the hands of Mark & Tracy Antonelli who led the fleet pretty much start to finish.

Sunday delivered a solid Force 2 gusting 3 blowing from the south but still gave some significant shifts to work through. Matthew and Peter Wolstenholme navigated the first beat shifts well to lead the pack to the first mark and continued to build a dominant lead which they held through to finish.

In the second race of the day, Mark and Tracey revelled in the shifty stuff and despite facing some challenges from behind, lead the whole race pretty much from start to finish to secure another victory.

Heading into the final race, it was all to play for with the top four boats being separated by a point and each of them capable of winning. The start was an aggressive one and after one general recall, the fleet were away, but with the recall flag still flying as the fleet headed upwind, this was always going to be an ominous sign!

The race for the overall title was hotly contested right down to the wire but as the fleet crossed the line some were to be marked as OCS which changed the picture of the overall results.

The final results [PDF] were Guy and Alison taking first, Alan an Liz Pike second and Matthew and Peter Wolstenholme third.

The event was a tremendous success and we look forward to sharing the event again in 2018 with the National 18s.

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