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K1 Open at South Windermere Sailing Club

by Mark Fearnley 9 Apr 19:33 BST 6-7 April 2019
Mike Dean during the South Windermere K1 Open © Mark Fearnley

South Windermere Sailing Clubat the south end of Lake Windermere welcomed the K1 fleet to a weekend of racing in its beautiful surroundings and unique conditions.

Race 1 on Saturday was sailed in a northerly F1-2, gradually, and sometimes quite abruptly, swinging to the North West, and back again.

Visitor Geoff King got a great start, so great he had to go back and do it again. Hilly King from Frensham Pond seemed to take to the shifty conditions, and led pretty much the rest of the race to win comfortably, with locals Mike Deane and Jack Thompson following in 2nd and 3rd.

Race 2 started as a bit of a drifter, and then got worse. Hilly King again seemed to have it under control, and gradually drifted away from the fleet, and looked good for the win until about 100yds from the finish. At that point a little bit of breeze came in from behind, some from the NW and some from the NE, and all the competitors closed up the point that they were pretty much all in a line. In the last 40yds there were at least 4 different leaders and at the finish line it had to be the closest finish ever recorded. 1st to 7th finished within a few seconds, and it literally took a photo finish to sort it out. Mike Deane poked his bow out in front to take the win, followed by Gordon Keyworth and David Pritchitt.

Sunday started with a bit more breeze, this time from the NE. Race 3 was a clean but very close start, and everyone remained closely bunched on the beat. Hilly's luck (or preparation?) ran out as his jib halyard snapped and his jib fell down. Steve Conway then managed to pull out a lead of nearly a leg on lap one but locals Jack and Mike gradually reeled him, and had a close dice, with Jack leading at the gun.

The wind then went more to the east. However there is no such thing as an easterly at South Windermere, because as the wind comes over Gummers Howe it becomes more of a downdraft than a wind. It didn't stop the fleet being over eager at the start of Race 4, resulting in the first general recall of the weekend. After the next start Hilly played the shifts in the middle of the lake to get a good lead by the windward mark. But Jack Thompson again started to work his way through the fleet, and gained a place each lap, until the last lap where he took a lift up the centre of the lake and into the lead. Jack had a very nervous run down to the finish though, as the fleet again closed right up behind him, but he kept ahead for his second win of the day. Geoff King slipped through into 2nd with Hilly 3rd.

Overall Jack took a well deserved win, with Mike on the same points but second on countback, with Hilly third. A fun weekend was had by all, including the spectators and race crews.

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