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Solo Southern Area Championship at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by Nick Marden 28 May 2018 19:20 BST 26 May 2018
Race 1 starts in the Solo Southern Area Championship at Bough Beech © Martyn Smith

The Solo Fleet returned to Bough Beech SC on 26 May for the 2018 Southern Area Championship. New silverware was at stake: the National Solo Association has introduced new perpetual trophies for each of the regional championships. The event also formed part of the Solo Super Series and attracted some top helms.

38 boats including 13 from Bough Beech launched in brilliant sunshine and headed off to the south west corner of the lake in a comfortable F2. Race Officer Guy Marks set an inverted P course with a decent 600 metre beat, but which put the windward mark inevitably towards the north east shore.

Surprisingly the first race got away without a recall. The fast guys had sussed out that it paid to go up the left shore and a gaggle of them approached top mark in the lead – which was when a second race developed as they tried to work through some big but unpredictable shifts as the wind went soft near the mark. This proved to be a challenge that lasted throughout the day. Ian Walters, (Grafham) got the gun from Lawrence Creaser (Hayling) and Mark Lee (Weymouth).

Many in the fleet were convinced they were over at the start of the second but the RO had a clear sight of the pin and only one (Bough Beech) boat was pinged. Again the left tended to pay, but there were significant and often short term shifts everywhere: sometimes it seemed better just to hang on through a header. Some of the gusts were starting to build towards F4. Several helms including Mark Lee forgot to sail through the start line on one of the beats and were relegated to the back. Creaser won by a significant margin from Vince Horey (King George) and Ollie Davenport (Northampton.) Walters was 4th.

After a good lunch provided by the Galley and a bit of sunbathing on the terrace admiring the view, the fleet set off for the final two races. As forecast, the wind continued to build throughout the afternoon to F4-5 and upturned hulls began to appear more regularly, especially at the leeward mark where an adjustment to the course now meant that there was a gybe through 300 degrees, often in close company, and just when (or so it seemed) a gust came through. The third race top four results were exactly the same as Race 2.

The final race got away with many sailors on "overpowered" settings. Some of the gusts were challenging and "tea bagging" was always a risk. Steve Ede (Ardleigh and a previous multiple Southern Area Champion) won from Fraser Hyden (Papercourt) and Davenport.

Overall Creaser was the comfortable victor with 4 points, but the next three, Walters, Horey and Davenport all finished with 9 points apiece, the actual places being decided on countback in that order. Walters also got the Veterans prize, Andrew Boyce (Papercourt) was first Grand Master in 9th and the evergreen Mike Wilkie was the first Septimus.

Our thanks to Guy Marks and his race team for providing quick turnarounds and efficient race organisation.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmPrize CategoryR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5784Lawrence CreaserGeneral211-54
2nd5586Ian WaltersVet1-4449
3rd5730Vince HoreyVet522(DNC)9
4th5764Oliver DavenportGeneral-63339
5th5381Fraser Hayden 45-6211
6th5804Steve EdeGeneral76-11114
7th5393Simon DerhamVet8-129724
8th5597Jonney WellsVet118-16625
9th5666Andrew BoyceGM107-141027
10th5406Jaruis SimpsonVet-15138829
11th4741Steve JonesVet9-1851630
12th5554Richard HudsonVet-171112932
13th5045Elliot MarksGeneral12-25101133
14th5561Tim LewisVet139-241537
15th5726Richard WillettsGM-2210181442
16th5130Mark LeeVet3(DNF)7DNC49
17th5119Jon HillVet-2114191750
18th5715Nick MardenGM141522(DNC)51
19th5466David MansonVet-2517251254
20th4454Stas HawickiGeneral29-32131355
21st5563Richard SouthernVet241615-2555
22nd5713Duncan PeaceGM16-21202056
23rd4978Adrian LawVet2019-261857
24th5373Phil SturmerVet18-29212362
25th5778Shaun WelshVet-2822231964
26th5352Mike WilkieSeptimus272317(DNC)67
27th5608Simon VerrallVet-3220302272
28th5575Paul TrevanSeptimus 70+192829(DNC)76
29th5385Kevin PowleyVet-3630272178
30th4551Bill HutchingsVet-3331282483
31st5506Noel WestGM2324(DNC)DNC86
32nd4879Keith RunacersSeptimus 70+3126DNF(DNC)90
33rd5737Dave Derby (DNF)27DNFDNC99
34th4730John BrookerGeneral3034(DNC)DNC103
35th4378Les AldousGM26(OCS)DNCDNC104
36th5649Steven Bishopgeneral(DNF)33DNCDNC111
37th4373David MarshallSeptimus 70+34(DNF)DNCDNC112
38th4185Don BuckleSeptimus35(DNF)DNCDNC113

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