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Streaker Class Southern Paddle Series Round 1 at Tamworth Sailing Club

by Matt Whitfield 5 Apr 2018 06:48 BST 24 March 2018

Six Streaker helms (three local and three visitors) arrived at Tamworth Sailing Club on Saturday morning to be greeted by no more than 5 mph of wind. Nevertheless, all six were rigged, changed and on the water for the start of race 1.

As the race got underway all the helms made their way up the first beat in a pack, gradually Duncan McDonald (1934) edged ahead rounding the windward mark in first, closely followed by James Dawes (1985) and Paul Burgoine (1571), leaving Ian Whitfield (1900) and Doug Horner (1940) to round slightly later and Matt Whitfield (1901) to bring up the rear having dropped back on the first beat. As the race continued the fleet closed up as they began to catch the slower boats in the earlier starting Laser fleet. On the final lap whilst fighting for the lead, Dawes picked up a 720 and duly paid his penalty. Meanwhile the slow starting M.Whitfield had worked his way to fourth, ahead of I.Whitfield and Horner. Dawes penalty would soon be neutralised as the fleet approached the next mark in a bunch with a handful of Lasers. Whilst Burgoine and I.Whitfield lost out in the melee, M.Whitfield was able to jump to third whilst Dawes, removed from the chaos, found himself ahead of McDonald and in the lead. Dawes and McDonald continued to race closely for the win with the former eventually coming home just ahead. M Whitfield won the close battle for third with Burgoine in fourth and M Whitfield in fifth. Horner retired having dropped back significantly.

Race two got underway after lunch in much the same conditions once again McDonald proved fastest up the first beat, followed by Burgoine, Horner and Dawes, the fleet more spread than I the previous race, seemingly it would stay this way as most of the legs had turned into fetches due to a shift in the wind, limiting strategic options. This was until the last leg, where Burgoine, who had been keeping McDonald honest, caught a lift that took him into the lead and on to the win by no more than inches, with Mcdonald relegated to second. Horner came home third, Dawes fourth, I.Whitfield fifth and M.Whitfield a distant sixth, unable to catch up after a poor first beat.

Race three was held on a changed course and once again the pack got away cleanly (albeit one boat down as Burgoine elected not to take part in the final race of the day). This time, McDonald, M.Whitfield and Horner stuck to the left of the beat with Dawes Initially heading right with I.Whitfield. The left proved beneficial as McDonald, M Whitfield and Horner rounded the first mark in close proximity. Dawes was not too far behind in fourth having worked his way back to the left side of the beat, I.Whitfield had however stayed right and paid the price rounding in fifth. By the next leg Dawes was ahead of Horner and both were gaining on M.Whitfield and McDonald. The next lap saw a tight four way fight for the lead until Horner dropped back. This left McDonald, Dawes and M.Whitfield to fight it out for the remainder of the race. McDonald made a break for it on the final leg to take the win, followed by Dawes in second with M.Whitfield close behind in third. Horner again retired so I.Whitfield inherited fourth.

A tricky day of sailing in light winds saw Duncan McDonald take top spot, a just reward for the three hour drive, James Dawes in second and Paul Burgoine in Third.

Streaker Class Southern Paddle round two is scheduled for the 7th April at Bough Beech Sailing Club.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts

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