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Osprey Scottish & Northern Championships at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Alan Henderson 11 Sep 2018 12:51 BST 8-9 September 2018
Osprey Scottish & Northerns at Kielder Water © Angela Mamwell

Ospreys flew to Kielder Water SC for their Scottish & Northern Championships on September 8/9. There was a mix of familiar teams and new pairings to add spice to the competition, after a trio of Carsington sailors very kindly volunteered to crew for other helms. Did they know something we didn't?

Forecast was moderate for Saturday, then getting frisky on Sunday, but Kielder often over achieves on breeze as well as catering!

The first race was in light breezes, and new pairing Alan Henderson / Lorraine Ball took the established pairs by surprise by taking the race, with Alex and Nick Willis from Hayling second. In the next two races, the winds piped up a bit. The two top local teams took a firm grip, and enjoyed a close duel. Viola and Mike Scott sailed into a big lead in the second race to win from Rob Shaw/ Ian Little. In the third race their duel lasted all the way to the finish line, with the Scotts grabbing a last minute shift to win by half a boat length.

Asked about the secret of their downwind speed, Viola Scott confessed that she had a collection of blue spinnakers, all the same colour to confuse the opposition, all different sizes, and all given different pet names. For the day she had picked her biggest one, named Big Bertha, and Big Bertha certainly earned her berth in the spinnaker chute with some great speed on the run, blasting holes in Shaw's lead. Shaw on the other hand, with the biggest crew, excelled on the close reaches, flinging the kite up without hesitation while others had to two sail for a little before launching their kites. So two guns for Big Bertha, giving the Scotts the overnight lead, from Henderson/ Ball, and Shaw/ Little.

The sight of a tent nearly blowing away on Sunday morning suggested that an exciting day's sailing was in prospect, for the two remaining races. New faces led at the windward mark in both races, with Mike and Deanne Stace, and Alex and Nick Willis taking initial leads. But this day Bertha's roar was somewhat muted, as Shaw and Little's speed on the close reaches told. Where others struggled to hold their kites at times, Shaw and Little had a blast. They took the first race, with Alec Mamwell / Arthur Butler taking a good second, ahead of Alan Henderson / Lorraine Ball.

The Championship would all hinge on the final race, but neither of the favourites made the running initially. Instead Alex and Nick Willis led round the first triangle, before yielding the lead to Alan Henderson/ Lorraine Ball. But racing was never predictable in winds which were rising, but still very shifty, and in all races there was close racing with plenty of ups and downs, not to mention capsizes and teabaggings. As a squall reached the leeward mark, the batting order changed, and Shaw and Little grabbed the lead.

Some crews were tiring a little, and the Race Officer kindly shortened the race for the latter half of the fleet, who had fallen well behind the leaders. But the leading five thundered onwards for the full four laps. Shaw and Little held their lead to win, from the Willis's. The Scotts improved to third, aided or abetted by Bertha, but Shaw and Little's second day performance gave them the Championship in style.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stRob ShawIan LittleKWSC‑322116
2ndViola ScottMike ScottKWSC411‑539
3rdAlan HendersonLorraine BallPrestwick Sc1‑533411
4thAlex Willis KWSC235‑8212
5thAlec Mamwell Coniston7462(RET)19
6thMike Stace Tenby‑8644519
7thRos DowmsDavid DownsTata Steel SC6‑876625
8thGraham Thumwood KWSC5987(RET)29
9thWilliam Crichton Ribble Cruising Club‑9799732

More information about the Osprey class at www.ospreysailing.org or Osprey Facebook pages.

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