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Lightning 368 Open at Up River Yacht Club

by Paul White 2 May 2018 11:00 BST 28-29 April 2018
Lightning 368 Open at Up River Yacht Club © Julie Ann Stevens

Another fantastic Lightning 368 open at Up River Yacht Club saw 6 boats travelling down for the first event of the year joined by 7 local sailors with 5 new Mark 3 Lightnings hitting the water.

With the traditional training day on Saturday we enjoyed beautiful sailing conditions with Mat and Penny putting us through our paces dusting off our boat handling skills before reminding us all how to start. Off the water in the afternoon the fleet decamped to the bar to review the pictures from the day and worry over the forecast for the Sunday. A late evening with great food from the local takeaways saw a merry fleet head to Penny's for the night with one very unsteady boat builder camping out for the night.

Re-emerging on Sunday with some sore heads the travelling Lightning sailors were greeted by a force 2-3 winds from the north east (chilly). The first race started with a fetch along the river with Simon Hopkins winning the start in his new boat and stretching out a lead which would not be challenged. Behind him Ben sailing the original Giles boat Penny used to such good effect last year, Marcus borrowing Robbie's Mark 3 boat, Penny in her new boat and Paul sailing his mark 2 #406 traded places along the river. Turning back towards the club the trick was catching the gusts whilst dodging yachts. While the chasing pack closed up on Simon he couldn't be caught, John dropped low down the river for clearer air but couldn't pull through. The final results saw Simon take the win, Marcus Ingram second, and Penny Harris third.

The second race, back to back with the first started again with a fetch along the river, Simon got stuck on the start line and started behind, Marcus and Ben heading the way, turning back and racing up river Paul managed to slip past Ben and tried to catch Marcus but his boat speed proved too much and he held out for the win. Further behind Ben managed to hold off Penny and John with Simon scoring a 7th after his bad start. Heading back to shore the fleet refuelled on tea and doughnuts before heading out for the last race of the day.

With the tide turning the fleet made a short fetch down the river before turning up upriver with Marcus leading with Simon and Paul following, hugging the banks and staying out the tide. Turning the corner away from the club Simon headed straight for the southern bank and making up places along a screaming reach. Up the short beat Simon nearly caught Paul put he just held clear before turning back to the club. Marcus held onto the lead followed home by Paul and Simon within a few boat lengths of each other. Ben once again battled hard to keep his sister behind him.

Marcus stole the day in his borrowed boat and proved he's still got what it takes to sail a Lighting, (watch out he is planning to come to the Nationals) with Simon and Paul finished on equal points, Simon taking second with his win in the first race.

A big thank you once again to all of those at Up River for hosting the Lightings and putting on a great event, already looking forward to next year! Next event we all move to Yorkshire for the Northern Championships on the 18-19th May. This year something different with the venue being at Denholme SC on the Saturday and Ulley SC on the Sunday. Separate meeting but combined results for the Northern champion. Can we have a winner from the North this year?

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3Pts
1st427Marcus Ingram-2112
2nd428Simon Hopkins1-734
3rd406Paul White-4224
4th324Ben Harris-6347
5th425Penny Yarwood34-57
6th429John Claridge55-610
7th413Caroline Hollier86(DNS)14
8th417Jason Gallagher7-8714
9th407Bryan Westley9-12817
10th430Graham Lazell-1310919
11th402Steve Hodgeson109(DNS)19
12th294Jamie Stevens-12111021
13th312Mike Jacka1113(DNS)24

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