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Sustainability Challenge Aero Open at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

by Gareth Griffiths 18 Mar 2018 18:28 GMT 17 March 2018
Aero 5 winner Toby Schofield heads two 7s down a high speed reach during the Aero Sustainability Challenge Open at Island Barn © Jim Champ

They say mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun – well they also go out in the freezing cold... On Saturday 17th March yellow warnings of snow and force 5-7 may have put off some entrants but the Sustainability Challenge Aero Open at Island Barn went ahead.

There may have been fewer boats but the competition with the elements was fierce. Some stayed ashore, some rigged but struggled to launch however despite the weather all three rigs were represented with local sailor Gareth Griffiths electing to stick with the 9 "My fingers were too cold to swap rigs".

At the briefing it was decided to drop down to three races back to back to avoid a cold start after lunch and to give travellers an earlier start on what could be a trick journey home.

With the wind as forecast generally around 20 knots but with big squalls there were a few capsizes even before the start. Off the gun the 9 showed its pace starting at the pin and pulling away winning on the water but the gap was not quite big enough with Jeff Davison taking the win on handicap by just 12 seconds from Gareth with Mark Carelton (Papercourt) third and Toby Schofield battling round in the only 5 to finish.

Race two started with a similar pattern with Gareth again taking the pin end but Jeff heading the 7's. It looked to be going the same way until Gareth capsized to windward in a huge header letting Jeff take the win on the water from Gareth with the improving Tim Hine (Lymington) close for second on handicap.

With the wind now starting to howl and sailors getting tired race three started with a familiar pattern but this time the 9 couldn't pull away and the leading pair of 7's of Jeff and Tim took line and handicap honours with Gareth 3rd.

Overall Results:

1st Jeff Davison (Aero 7, Island Barn)
2nd Tim Hine (Aero 7, Lymington)
3rd Gareth Griffiths (Aero 9, Island Barn)
4th Toby Schofield (Aero 5, Felpham)

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