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Solo Open at West Kirby Sailing Club

by Martin Hartley 7 Jun 2018 06:47 BST 2 June 2018
West Kirby Solo Open © Alan Jenkins

Early risers in West Kirby saw a miserable day dawning. Rain, cloud, grey skies and NO wind. ZIP. Still, it wasn't all bad. It was the day WKSC hold their Solo Open.

Ever popular, the day starts with as much coffee and as many doughnuts as you can stuff in. All at once of course – its an event within an event now. Boring result this year. Nobody was playing hard, with no wind no one was taking aboard any extra weight today. No sign of any water, visitors gaze seawards wondering where it is - there's only sand for miles and still no wind.

Adam Whittle, the PRO was looking bemused. No water, no wind or at least by now very little, not enough wind to make over the tide anyway, what's to be done. Doughnut anyone?

With really only one option, the PRO decided to opt for the Marine lake instead of the tide. With everyone in agreement, sixteen Solos headed out onto the lake where a Northerly breeze had filled in. Although light, the direction allowed for a good windward-leeward course to be set and the day turned serious.

In what was the pattern for the day, bearing in mind the light breeze, the racing became a tack-fest. The wind was shifting and those that missed them or were unable to take them inevitably made it to the back, I should know, but as always, the cream rises to the top with Steve Graham winning from Steve Dennison with Gorden Bernell third.

The second race was much the same with a clean start and good racing with plenty of place changes up the first beat. Those that tacked close inshore seemed to have lost out as John Dixon from WKSC shot up the left side in more breeze. Sadly, the promenade side then started to pay as a right shift took that side closer to the windward mark and John lost his lead. Martin Honnor took over and lead for much of the race only to lose out on the final short beat to the finish. Steve Dennison took first from Martin Honnor with Phil Barnes in third. And what of yourself I hear you ask, well, I capsized. In no wind. Too many doughnuts I said.

Another clean start for most of the fleet began the third of the three back to back races. Martin Honnor was OCS and returned but was buried in the back of the fleet with no hope of catching the leaders who were, in first place Steve Graham, second Steve Denison and third Brian Spruce. But what happened to Martin Honnor? He took the probably obvious option to retire. Probably? Well unbeknown to everyone, the PRO had bowled a googly and written into the SI's all three races to count, no discards. Well that's not cricket is it! Whoever reads the SI's. Not me for sure. Still, it made for some interesting face pulling during prize giving (it's OK Steve you can stop now).

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Steve Denison (RYA)
2nd Steve Graham (Burwain SC)
3rd Phil Barnes (Budworth SC)

Full results at http://www.wksc.org.uk/results1.htm

Thanks go to The PRO Adam Whittle and his team and indeed all those involved in making this a good event, and a special thanks to all our visitors.

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