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Osprey Final Fling at Rutland Sailing Club

by Terry Curtis 30 Oct 2017 13:43 GMT 28-29 October 2017

The Osprey class once again joined forces with Contenders and Hornets for the annual end of season event at Rutland, on 28/29 October.

Partly due to the forecast a smaller than normal sized Osprey fleet attended, however for the 13 brave teams that did attend, Rutland delivered a roller coaster of an event.

On arrival it was clear that we were due a brisk day's sailing, by the time the boats were rigged and teams fully briefed the white caps were already making an appearance. Once the fleet was assembled in the race area with a mean of 25 knots and gusts in the mid thirties it was fairly clear that this was to be an epic day's sailing. Fortunately with the wind blowing from the West the air temperature was in the early teens which made things a little more bearable.

The fleet was off cleanly at the first attempt with Terry Curtis and Peter Grieg rounding first with a clear upwind speed advantage. As they set off down the reach in a 30 knot gust and a cloud of spray they decided to let the fleet decide when it was time to fly kites. Alistair Raynard and Rob Burdekin lead the rest of the pack around the mark. Curtis and Greig extended up the next beat and headed down the run with a big lead.

Alex and Nick Willis decided to up the anti by hoisting their kite followed by one or two others. Curtis and Greig had spotted the end of the start gate which was effectively a mark of the course for the downwind leg. The rest of the fleet were heading for the middle of the line when they realised and a number of crash gybes resulted in half the fleet swimming. Curtis and Greig sailed a conservative race to take the win from Raynard/Burdekin and and the Willis's coming in 3rd.

If anything there was more wind for the start of the second race with some huge gusts raking down the lake and big waves. With a minute to go to the start Curtis and Greig were blown in by a gust resulting in them starting 30 seconds behind the fleet with a boat full of water. The fleet battled their way up the first beat with mains flogging. By the windward mark Curtis and Greig had managed to regroup and round first by a whisker. With Phil Meakins and Chris Dodds hot on their heels once again the reaches were two-sailers.

At the end of the second reach Curtis/Greig, Meakins/Dodds and Raynard/Burdekin were all in a line when a massive gust took control. Meakins went for a swim while the rest took off. Once again Curtis/ Greig extended their lead upwind and were looking comfortable until a rash moment when they decided to gybe at the wing mark resulting in a windward capsize (explain that! - something to do with too much single-handed sailing?). Fortunately their lead was sufficient to enable them to right the boat and take their second win of the day with Raynard/ Burdekin keeping on the pressure with another second. With upturned hulls scattered all over the race area, wisely Race 3 was postponed.

A swing to the North overnight happened as forecast, but with the air temp down and the actual wind strength 10 knots more than the 15-20 knot that was forecast, racing did not look too appealing as we looked directly at the whitecaps rolling towards the clubhouse. Fortunately by race time the breeze had settled at around 15 knots and 3 more sensible races took place.

Curtis and Grieg carried on where they left off by taking the win in Race 3. Initially under pressure from Gareth Caldwell and Jon Gibbons, but again Raynard/Burdekin pulled through to second from the Willis's and Alec Mamwell and Arthur Butler showing some speed to come home 4th.

By Race 4 the wind had moderated further. Curtis/Greig narrowly led again for the first round but ran into the back of the Contender start up the second beat. Struggling to find clear air they tacked right with the majority of the fleet staying left. The Willis's came out big winners rounding comfortably first which they held to the end with Raynard/Burdekin again in second and Richard Marshall and Andy Edmonds third. With Curtis/Greig only managing 5th the door was now open for the ever steady pair from Carsington.

With the regatta still to play for Curtis/Greig again found the best route up the first beat, but the whole fleet were close on their tail. By the bottom of the run Viola and Mike Scott had picked up a puff from the left and came cruising in to lead the fleet to the leeward mark.

Then things unravelled for them. A congested mark with a dozen Contenders completing their reach and a 30deg header right on the mark left them in irons trapped by a couple of upturned Contenders. Curtis/Greig footed around the outside with Raynard/Burdekin to leeward. Once again the breeze started to fill back in and Curtis/Greig were able to extend to the finish taking the race, the event and enough points to win the famous Wilkinson Sword Travellers Trophy.

Marshal/Edmonds were enjoying the day's conditions coming in second in the last race with Raynard/Burdekin third.

Curtis and Greig thus completed a very successful season by adding the Wilkinson Sword Travellers Series to the National Championship title they won in August.

More info on Osprey class at www.ospreysailing.org or facebook.com/ospreysailing

Overall Results:

PosSail No.HelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1281Curtis TerryGreig PeterCastle Cove111‑514
2nd1363Raynard AlistairBurdekin RobCarsington2222‑38
3rd1291Willis AlexWillis NickKeilder Water SC3531‑712
4th1350Mamwell AlecButler ArthurConiston SC644‑10418
5th1338Brown KenButters ChrisIsle of Sheppey SC56‑96623
6th1347Meakins PhilipDodd ChrisWarsash43(DNC)7DNC28
7th1343Marshall RichardEdmonds AndrewPoole YC(DNC)DNC103229
8th1314Scott ViolaScott MichaelKielder Water SC(DNC)DNC64529
9th1369Blake RogerBlake JamieGreat Moor SC(DNC)DNC79838
10th1292Heather PaulOsloop JonathanTeign Mouth(DNC)DNC88939
11th354Packer RichardMorrie AndrewBCYC(DNF)DNC11111046
12th1331Caldwell GarethGibbons JonBlithfield SC(DNC)DNCPI1DNCDNC48
13th1298Bowers RichardBowers AdamCastle Cove(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC56

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