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Sailing Chandlery 2018 728x90

Enterprise Open Meeting at Rudyard Lake Sailing Club

by Steve Blackburn 31 Oct 2017 07:28 GMT 28 October 2017

As we arrived at the idyllic lake we was greeted by welcoming members and shortly after we all went about rigging our 8 boats for the days racing. The wind was coming from a northerly direction but still mild for the time of year with a 12c registering on the van thermometer. The wind was gusty 4 to 5 and shifting from left to right, which we all learn about later when we were on the water.

Race 1, the event was combined with the Albacores and they started 5 minutes ahead of the Enterprise's. It was our time to start and Steve Blackburn & Molly Nixon (West Lancs), had the superior start, with Mark Nield & Jacky Finch (Chester) only a smidgen behind. Pulling there into second throughout the 1mile beat was Martin Davies & Rebecca Bradley (Rugby & Daventry SC) and we rounded the windward buoy onto a loose run. The fleet really bunched into a tight pack.

With everyone expecting to create room at the gybe mark and we all hurtled across the lake on a tight reach. Then back onto a run with another gybe this time followed by a flying broad reach to let the Enterprise rip across the water to the following mark, which was in front of the clubhouse. You could either gybe on the mark or later on at the final leeward mark with the win or swim attitude and back on the beat through the line for lap 1.

Steve eventually pulled ahead of the disappearing fleet in to the dark abyss of the lake, as it was either a sharp veering gust or a deadly rear main gybe that was catching out the Enterplankers. Paul Young & Gabrielle Barthelemy (Midland) sailed extremely reservedly and moved up into second whilst boats were falling down like skittles in a force 6 bowling alley. Mike Heap & Sarah Rumball (Ogston) came in 3rd, with Oliver Mason & Megan Ward (Midland) 4th and Ian Rawlinson & Bruce Carter (Rudyard lake) in 5th.

We all came a shore for a super dinner fit for any sailor, Chicken, Sausage Veg and Mash and for dessert Chocolate Cake (as I can't spell Gateaux) and Cream. Definitely upwind performance was needed for the following race.

Race 2, The breeze had increased, as if a force 5 – 6 was enough this time white horse could be seen on the lake increasing the force 6 – 7. As one by one the Enter-subs launch off the slipway and we were effortlessly planning to and throe across the starting area. Again the Albacore's went first. Then the Ents were off.

This time Martin created the best start on a cocky port flyer, Mike Heap was in second up the challenging beat. At times it wasn't enough the let the main flog uncontrollably you had to let the jib out and hike to the max just to stop the boat from falling in. Steve caught up with the leader Martin and went onto a run to the next gybe mark. Martin and Steve were both hit with a huge veering gust which punch over martin as we were screaming onto a now broad reach to the gybe mark, onto the tight reach, onto another short run and then gybe....

To the almighty of a screaming planning, white knuckle, bouncing, slapping and nearly foiling as the Enter-skiff took off to the dreaded, full on, fighter jet, black gust gybe in front of the club house with peering eyes watching, who was going to triumph or fall on to the Top gun, permission to flyby! planning run to the leeward buoy. This was becoming all too much hard work for the sailors!

This meant we only managed two laps of race two and the OD shorten and called time on the racing for the day as the wind increased further and was just too much for the final race. It was great days sailing even if you learnt how to remove mud from your sail, right your dingy dinghy or the new magic trick of the disappearing burgee.

Again thanks to everyone at Rudyard Lake for putting on a great event.

Overall Results:

122461West Lancs.Steve BlackburnMolly Nixon       1122
222901Midland S.C.      Paul Young         Gabrielle Barthelemy    2244
319007Ogston S.C.        Mike Heap         Sarah Rumball  3366
420361Midland S.C.      Oliver Mason    Megan Ward     4RDG               88
521791RLSC  Ian RawlinsonBruce Carter                5DNF1414
622320Rugby & Daventry S.C.  M Davies            Rebecca Bradley              DNFDNF1818
621806RLSC     Janet Shields Shay Dawson  DNFDNF1818
621333Chester S.C.       Mark Nield         Jacky Finch         DNFDNC1818