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Topaz Xenon Open at Oxford Sailing Club

by Martin Wark 10 Apr 2006 09:39 BST 8 April 2006

The first ever Xenon Open Meeting was held at Oxford Sailing Club on Saturday 8th April.

The wind was stronger than forecast and the 25mph gusts led to some exciting sailing and quite a bit of swimming for everyone. With most of the competitors coming from small lakes this was the first time many of them had been able to test the legs of these exiting new boats.

We all went to the start line with pretty much no knowledge of the competition so no-one knew who to watch out for.

Race one was led start to finish by Kevin Moore and his young daughter Rachel. After some place swapping on the early laps Jon Manners and his stand-in crew from Oxford SC, Grant Blake, managed to stay in front of Martin & Faye Wark, who were not helped by not being able to use their kite owing to a rigging mistake.

Race two started very similarly to race one with Kevin and Rachel leading the way, Martin and Faye and John and Grant following them round the first mark. On the second beat Jim Thomas and Chris Wye managed to move into third place. On the third lap Martin and Faye managed to retake third place only to capsize and turn turtle early on the reach. John eventually took the race win when Kevin capsized and required outside assistance to reunite him with his crew. Max Coleman and Mike Hughes did well to take third place, with Paul and Nicky Doyle coming in fourth. Andrew Coombes was fifth with his stand-in crew Paul Wilkes.

Race three was started by a depleted fleet in the strongest wind of the day. The early leaders were again Kevin and Rachel followed by Jon and Grant. Jim and Chris were however to demonstrate that a conservative survival approach can sometimes take the day, when Kevin and John both capsized with kites flying on the first run, and Jim went past them to establish an insurmountable lead with his kite firmly in it’s shute.

In the end with the first three all on three points the event was decided on the result of that last race, so Jim’s safety first approach took the trophy.

We would very much like to thank Oxford Sailing Club for providing a great venue for our first open meeting, Crewsaver and Topper for the prizes, and a special thank you for the Buzz and ISO Classes who welcomed us so well to their event.

Our next event is at Brightlingsea S.C. on Saturday 13th May.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubPts
1st 4193 Jim Thomas Chris Wye Hertford County 3.0 
2nd 3949 Kevin Moore Rachel Moore Hawley Lake 3.0 
3rd 4439 John Manners Grant Blake Salcombe 3.0 
4th 3898 Max Coleman Mike Hughes Sutton 7.0 
5th 3936 Martin Wark Faye Wark Broadwater 11.0 

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