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Lightning 368 Southern Championship at Royal Lymington Yacht Club

by Ben Twist 11 Jul 2018 18:33 BST 30-31 July 2016
Lightning 368 Southern Championships © Fothergill Photography

Lake Garda conditions prevailed at the Lightning Southern Championships held at Lymington. We had air temperatures of 28 deg C and a sea breeze building on both days to Force 3 to 4. In addition the sea state had enough chop to provide challenging windward sailing and marginal surfing downwind.

The Southern Championship was held as part of the Lymington Dinghy Regatta with the Lightning fleet of 6 boats being given its own fleet start. Of these 5 were the new Mk3 Claridge layouts with LN435 seeing the water for the first time in race 1.

Three races were originally scheduled for each day but this was amended to 4 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday due to the light wind forecasted for Sunday morning. All the races were held on a quadrilateral course and the first race was the only race that lasted for 3 laps being about 45mins long. All other races were 2 laps.

The first race saw John Claridge lead the way and rounding the first mark in pole position. Robbie Claridge was soon out in front catching his Dad on the off wind legs. Those that followed managed to keep out of the tide bowing to the Claridge's local knowledge. The tide sorted out the pond sailors from the sea sailors with Ben Twist climbing from 5th place to 3rd (showing the new boats are quick out of the box).

The 2nd race and subsequent races saw Robbie first at the windward mark and Jason Gallagher rounded second beating John Claridge and then slipping one place to finish third.

Mathew Pickett picked up a lot of weed during the third race allowing John Butler to break into 5th place leaving Mathew in 6th place.

Races 3 and 4 saw the finishing order settle into a pattern. However, the racing was very close and the finishing order does not reflect the changing positions that occurred upwind and downwind and the close finishing times.

The very tired and aching fleet then headed back from the racing area to Lymington on a very fast and exhilarating reach. Ashore the organizers provided a welcome bribe to ensure that the competitors signed off. A cup of tea/coffee and a jam doughnut. Some of us were content with one while others had three. The Royal Lymington Yacht club provided an excellent carvery in the evening, unfortunately those that over indulged on the doughnuts were not able to appreciate all that was offered. The walk to John's for the night enabled us to fully digest the meal. However, a rest at the pub on the way meant that we topped up again and prevented us having an early night.

Races 5 and 6 were sailed on Sunday after a 2 hr postponement. This meant that the sailors who travelled to the event (i.e. anybody who was not called Claridge) decided not to sail as they needed to get home especially as the wind was forecast to be very light. Robbie and John ventured out for the two races and had an excellent sail in good wind conditions. The racing was very close with John rounding the windward mark on both occasions on Robbie's heals.

Once again Lymington provided a well organized event, excellent sea sailing and good hospitality. The next event is inland at Broxbourne SC in the Lee Valley on 11th August. Perhaps revenge for the Pond sailors?

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st429Robert ClaridgeRLymYC‑1111115
2nd427John ClaridgeRLymYC‑22222210
3rd435Ben TwistBroadstairs SC3444(DNC)DNC22
4th426Matthew PickettUp River YC4633(DNC)DNC23
5th417Jason GallagherDenholme SC5355(DNC)DNC25
6th433John ButlerSutton‑in‑Ashfield SC6566(DNC)DNC30

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