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Alton Water 2019 Fox's Chandlery Frostbite Series - Week 1

by Jenny Pavey 10 Jan 19:33 GMT 6 January 2019
Asymmetrics downwind during Alton Water Fox's Marina Frostbite Series Week 1 © Emer Berry

A whopping 73 boats arrived for the first week of the this popular nine-week / 18 race series, sponsored by Fox's Chandlery, with a wide range of classes from RS Qubas and Teras to RS800s. Several more have entered the series and with more promised it could be a busy time on the water with up to 100 boats!

The first briefing of the series set the scene, in that the successful previous years' format would be followed. Eager competitors were met with a cold, grey, damp day and although the wind was from one of the best directions for the reservoir, the north-west, there was very little of it.

There were five starts at three-minute intervals, for Fast, Asymmetric, Laser, Medium and Slow fleets and the race officer set a fairly long lap course to split boats up and give people room for mark-roundings and separation on the downwind legs. The asymmetric fleet is always very competitive and, in their haste to get the series under way, too many were over the line to be identified and they were recalled under a black flag start. All fleets apart from one managed to sail two laps before the race was shortened, with the slow fleet having completed just one lap.

The wind died a little during the race, meaning that the faster boats managed to finish in a reasonable time but some of the slow fleet took a while to complete their sole lap and should be rewarded for their perseverance. However, Matt, one of the Phantom sailors was pleased that the delay allowed him to nip ashore for a sausage roll and loo break before the second race!

There was some doubt about whether the second race would happen and eighteen of the fleet decided a hot roast dinner was worth using one of their six discards for and went ashore, but the majority optimistically stayed out and were rewarded with enough of an increase in wind for a shorter one-lap race for all fleets.

It was good to see a mix of new faces as well as series regulars and previous winners spread throughout the fleets. Consistent performances were displayed by Bob Portway who won both races in the Fast fleet, despite having to sail back to retrieve his hat at one point, and Graham Ireland in the Laser fleet and Felix Powell in his RS Tera in the Slow fleet who also won both their races.

Next week promises more wind and we're hoping we don't experience another Beast from the East this year, being in the most easterly county in Britain.

Race and series results to date can be found at

Week 1 Highlight Results:

Robert PortwayPhantomAlton Water SC11
Alan Krailing/Pete NicholsonMerlin RocketBrightlingsea SC22
Matt HousePhantomAlton Water SC33
David Conlon/Sarah BinesRS200Brightlingsea SC21
Chris Mayhew/Beatrice GreenRS200Alton Water SC14
Andrew Nunn/Nicole MayhewRS200Waldringfield SC62
Ian Videlo/Alyson VideloRS200Waldringfield SC35
Graham IrelandStandardRoyal Harwich SC11
Mark SchofieldStandardAlton Water SC42
Cameron HarrisStandardOrwell Yacht Club26
Harry WallheadStandardAlton Water SC53
Alex DaveyStandardRoyal Harwich SC35
Robert DeavesFinnWaldringfield SC22
Daniel Watson/Fran GiffordLarkWaldringfield SC41
John Glasspool/Tim CroomeKestrelAlton Water SC55
Harry Pynn/Gemma CookLarkWaldringfield SC1DNC
Felix PowellRS Tera ProAlton Water SC11
Libbie Bush/Hettie ThorogoodCadetAlton Water SC33
Hazel Whittle/Gwen ThorogoodCadetWaldringfield SC44

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