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Osprey Final Fling at Rutland Sailing Club

by Kevin Francis 1 Nov 14:06 GMT 20-21 October 2018

The traditional end of season open meeting took place over the weekend of the 20th and 21st October, sharing the water with the Contender fleet, Hornet fleet and 420 fleet, thus ensuring that having your head on a stick was going to be of greatest importance.

The weather was kind to all fleets with a good breeze on each day and wall to wall sunshine, a stark contrast to previous years and plenty of water to sail on which was a bonus compared with other inland venues this year. The usual organised chaos on arrival soon abated and all crews focused on rapid rigging to meet the midday start time, for most of the Osprey fleet it was the first meeting since the Nationals so it was very good indeed to bump into so many crews that had travelled especially as further afield in Wales another Osprey open was running with ten boats in attendance there.

All races over the weekend were held at the far end of the reservoir with triangles and sausages the order of the day, the Ospreys were scheduled to start along with the Hornets which was met with some surprise and a lot of sympathy for the Horneteers who were blanketed from the B for bang by the larger boats.

The first start was taken just a little too keenly by the two fleets leading to a general recall and thereafter the black flag claimed some noticeable scalps.

The beats were the real place changing legs and staying out of the middle of the course was essential especially second time around with so many fleets cross tacking. Banging right immediately after the start or firing out ahead to the lay line seemed to produce the best routes, and this was exploited to the full by DJ Edwards and Mikey Greig in Lethal Weapon who had done enough damage by the windward mark to generally leave everyone fighting for the remaining places.

Current National Champion crew Terry Curtis and Peter Greig were struggling a little and others were quick to take advantage, inland experts Alistair Raynard and Rob Burdekin showing good speed and height and Kev Francis and Phil Male managing to finally get to grips with a reservoir event. It was great to see Mike Taylor and Jon Willey in the gorgeous 1297 blasting clear of the main pack in race 3 and Roger and Jamie Blake continuing to show great form in their new Mk 5, a fantastic year for this father and son team. Another new combination showed flashes of great speed in another Mk 5, Emma Stevenson and Peter Lloyd, a little more consistency and a calmer head at the windward mark and they will win.

Overnight the crew of Whitestar led the event but the discard was clearly going to change many places.

Some of the crews, including this author, decided on the local pub for the evening social and advance booking seemed a sensible option, however on arrival we were met with blank looks and no names in the reservations book; it was then that we were educated that there were several pubs in the local area all called the Wheatsheaf and that the pub was fully booked.

You can imagine the looks of the hungry Osprey sailors rapidly calculating just how many bags of crisps and pork scratchings it was going to take to provide any kind of sustenance. Luckily Mikey Greig arrived at the vital moment having already spent the previous evening working his way through the various liquids on offer, so after the customary bone-crushing handshake the landlord relented and all was well, in fact by the end of the night the Osprey fleet had arrived in numbers and claimed half the pub as their own.

Day 2 provided more glorious conditions with slightly more breeze and the racing proved fast and frantic as many teams battled near the front. Phil (the power) Meakin with Chris Dodd in the front end continued the series of solid results and Alex and Nick Willis showed good speed in race 4 to wiggle clear of the chasing bunch.

It was however a weekend to forget for Chris Davies and Lorraine Ball who had repeat gear failure on both days and were caught by that black flag in race 1. Time to give the Mk IV some TLC ready for 2019.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Net
1st1116DJ EdwardsMikey GreigMounts BayBFD21115
2nd1234Terry CurtisPeter GreigCastle Cove3622411
3rd1363Alistair RaynardRob BurdekinCarsington5146212
4th1296Kev FrancisPhil MaleCastle Cove1363512
5th1347Phil MeakinChris DoddWarsash4555719
6th1362Emma StevensonPeter LloydWeymouth2BFD710322
7th1291Alex WillisNick WillisHayling Island7994626
8th1369Roger BlakeJamie BlakeGreat MoorDNC487928
9th1297Mike TaylorJon WilleyMarconi 1273131032
10th1337Rob ShawIan LittleKielder118148835
11th1350Alec MamwellArthur ButlerConiston61017111239
12th1373Richard Marshall PooleBFD131091143
13th1326Mike StaceDeanna MortonTenby81111151645
14th1175John BowdenTim BowdenWeymouth10BFD15141352
15th1341Willy CrichtonJonathan OsgoodAldenham131212161552
16th1311Jon BattNick BroomhallBlithfield91513DNCDNC56
17th1364Russ WheelerMark MawhinnyIsle of SheppeyBFD1418121458
18th1345Chris DaviesLorraine BallCarsingtonBFDDNC16DNCDNC73

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