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Ogston Handicap and Challenger Open

by Marion Edwards 9 Oct 2018 09:57 BST 6-7 October 2018
Ogston Challenger Open © Marion Edwards

Eight Challengers (four visitors and four local) took part in Ogston Sailing Club's Handicap Open at the weekend and surprisingly they made up two thirds of the fleet. Perhaps some sailors were discouraged by the weather forecast which was for heavy rain on Saturday and little wind on Sunday.

Fortunately the rain had stopped before the briefing so when the race officer suggested four races on Saturday there were no dissenting voices. He also provided a lead boat for the first lap of each race which allowed for more interesting courses (with six or seven legs per lap!) without the visiting sailors getting lost.

During the day, the wind was predominantly north to north east but shifting in a typical Ogston fashion. It was F3 gusting F4 possibly F5 but there were some light patches to be avoided. It was also unseasonably (and unreasonably) cold.

In Race 1 David Driffill (179) and Jack Alderdice (281) attempted port tack fliers but were thwarted by a wind shift and bailed out. The same wind shift benefitted Graham Hall (270) who started by the committee boat and found himself lifted. At the windward mark it was the Laser followed by Graham and the Enterprise. After 45 minutes the Enterprise led but not by enough so Graham took the win with the Enterprise second and David in third. Three of the Challengers were racing with buddies and had their own race within a race which was won conclusively by Freya Walker (230).

At the start of Race 2 David shut Graham and Alex Hovden (188) out from committee boat and left them playing catch up while he, Jack and Duncan Greenhalgh (295) fought it out in front. As the race progressed the Challengers slowed each other down allowing the Enterprise to take the win. Unusually David and Duncan could not be separated at the finish and were joint second. Graham had caught up sufficiently to touch Jack just before leeward mark on last lap and having done his penalty turn limped home in sixth.

Some very cold sailors were retrieved and they headed up to the clubhouse for an excellent lunch. The results were speedily calculated and put the Enterprise in the lead followed by David then Graham. In the buddied Challengers Freya was stamping her authority over Chris Keats-Hannan (239) and Mark Graham (229).

At the start of Race 3 Duncan got the prime spot next to committee boat with Graham behind him. Once through line Graham tacked off to find clear air, found one lift then another and although hotly pursued by the Enterprise took the win on the water. To add insult to injury the Enterprise was relegated to third place on handicap by David.

After Race 3 Chris decided she was too cold to face another race. This was a wise decision as there were some truly horrible black clouds approaching and there was some concern as to what was going to happen. Surprisingly the answer was not a lot, as the clouds skirted harmlessly to the north east of the reservoir. It did rain during first half Race 4 but there was little change in the wind.

In Race 4 the Enterprise was first to the windward mark followed by David and the Solo with Graham rounding in fourth. At the next mark Graham got lucky (again!) and found sufficient wind to power passed all three boats - the Enterprise crew was not impressed! Graham held the lead to take his second win on the water, David had another second and Jack had his best race to come third.

So after four races the discard had kicked in putting Graham in the lead followed by the Enterprise and David in third. However, both Graham and the Enterprise were carrying a high discard whereas David was not. With light winds forecast for the final race on Sunday anything could happen. In contrast, having survived all four races, Freya was secure at the top of the buddied Challengers.

Contrary to expectations, there was some wind on Sunday morning: it was from the south east but was forecast to swing south westerly - which it did gradually during the race. It was lighter than Saturday with some very light patches to catch the unwary. On Sunday the club was also hosting an Aero open meeting and they were to start five minutes after the handicap fleet.

Surprisingly at the start of Race 5 three Challengers were OCS (David, Duncan and Alex). They all went back round the ends as required but they were heavily penalised for their over enthusiasm. As the Enterprise didn't have the best of starts Graham led up the beat closely followed by Jack. Unfortunately they found a hole and were overtaken by the Enterprise, Laser and Solo. Jack's race went from bad to worse when he met some Aeros at the first leeward mark and lost a place to a recovering Duncan. This was definitely the Challengers worst race as although Graham did enough to win on handicap, the Enterprise was second, followed by the Solo and the Laser.

So Graham was not only first Challenger but first in the Handicap Open, the Enterprise of Mike Heap and Joy Mapp was second with David (sailing the oldest Challenger) in third. Duncan was very happy to be third Challenger (and fourth overall). Freya was unbeaten in the buddied Challengers (she was also first Junior) and Chris second.

Thanks are due to Ogston Sailing Club, particularly the race officer Andy Gomm, the galley team and all those who helped launch and recover the Challengers (especially Mike and Joy who, one would have thought, had been chased and harried quite enough by them during the racing!).

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stChallenger270Graham Hall Rutland1‑61114
2ndEnterprise19007Mike HeapJoy MappOgston213‑628
3rdChallenger179David Driffill Ogston32.522‑89.5
4thChallenger295Duncan Greenhalgh Bassenthwaite‑72.544515.5
5thChallenger281Jack Alderdice Rutland4453‑616
6thSolo5163K Mackenzie Ogston58(DNF)7323
7thChallenger188Alex Hovden Papercourt65‑75723
8thLaser170438P Hind Ogston‑8768425
9thAlbacore6698S HuntB CableOgston9989(DNC)35
10thChallenger with Buddy230Freya WalkerCraig WalkerOgston‑1010910938
11thChallenger with Buddy239Chris Keats‑HannanKate Turner/Sharon Keats‑HannanOgston111210(DNC)1144
12thChallenger with Buddy229Mark GrahamGraham Turner/Mick BrownOgston1211(DNC)DNC1046

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