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Tactics To Win by Nick Craig
Tactics To Win by Nick Craig

GP14 Midland Bell Open at Chase Sailing Club

by Michelle Evans 11 Apr 08:54 BST 7 April 2019

The competition at the Chase SC always attracts a strong entry with this year the same as twenty boats ignored the rubbish mid-week forecast to turn up for the second round of the GP14 Midland Bell.

On the day the breeze was a fairly decent F3 and cloudy as we set off to the powerboat end of the water. The first race was a clean start, Richard and Linda Instone (Chase SC) nailed the pin and tacked across the fleet on port, Pete Jacques and myself (Chase SC) nailed the committee boat end and we met in the middle and rounded windward first and second for the downwind leg.

The second beat was towards the club house and with the wind coming out of the creek big gains or losses were possible as ourselves and the Instones discovered. Into the lead stormed Graham Flynn and Ben Pickering (Chase SC) with visitors Lawrence Creaser and Jane Kearney (Hayling/South Staffs SC) into second and Eden and Josh Hyland (Chase SC) into third.

The fight for third must have been interesting to watch from the shore as both the Hylands and our boat were using 14177 sails with identical spinnakers. In the end we nudged back past them after coming out the best of a taking battle on the second lap. The lead changed hands at the front as Lawrence/Jane took the win with Graham/Ben second and Pete/Michelle third.

The battle for the next four places came within boat lengths after Sam Watson and Andy Hunter (Nantwich SC) had worked through the fleet, including winning a fun looking luffing match with the Instones, to make it to fourth on the last beat moving Eden and Josh to fifth.

After a very nice lunch we headed back out for the final two races. The wind remained much the same strength as it did in the morning but had started buggering about a bit (technical term). This resulted in a general recall. With Dave Pickering as our principal race officer for the day we knew there were going to be no rushed decisions and as the wind refused to settle, we had a number of abandoned starts before we finally got away.

Rob Stringer and Pete Tate (Chase SC) got the first beat right and rounded first with Graham and Ben in hot pursuit and soon into the lead. The jostling for places two to five was fun to watch and you could have probably heard some of the heated 'discussions' between boats at the marks in the town centre. One boat untroubled by drama was the one leading by almost a leg as Graham and Ben cruised to a resounding victory. James Goodfellow and Richard Cornes (Harwich/Burghfield SC) took second and a very consistent Josh and Eden third.

The final race got away first time and with Sam and Andy having woken up now, the first beat was closely fought between them, James and Richard and Pete and myself and we rounded in that order. After the first lap the leading two had broken away leaving us in a battle with the advancing pack. On the penultimate beat Lawrence and Jane got through into third and then after an unfortunate incident where my helm almost departed the boat Graham and Ben went into fourth, Eden and Josh into fifth which was as they finished. Rob and Pete temporarily got into sixth until we took them on the line.

As winners of race 3, Sam and Andy took the Richard Estaugh Trophy but it was Graham and Ben who were worthy winners of the event with Lawrence and Jane second overall, James and Richard third. First Silver Fleet, and fifth overall, were Hartley Boats' Eden and Josh Hyland. First Bronze Fleet boat was Cath Grove and Stuart Green (Chase SC) with Peter Nugent (Staunton Harold SC) first youth helm and James Vyse (Chase SC) first youth crew.

Racing throughout the fleet was close and a good day was had by all. Thanks to prize sponsor Marine 13, race team Alex Walton, Dave Pickering and Mark Blackham, photographer Greg Cornes, the rescue team, Chris on bar and Julie, Gill, Michelle and Libby in the galley.

Next event on the Midland Bell circuit is the Areas at Staunton Harold on 13/14 April.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stGold14220G FlynnB PickeringChase SC21‑43
2ndGold14178L CreaserJ KearneyHayling Island/South Staffs SC1‑534
3rdGold14241J GoodfellowR CornesHawich Town/Burghfield SC‑11224
4thGold14132S WatsonA HunterNantwich SC4‑915
5thSilver77HE HylandJ HylandChase SC‑5358
6thGold77PP JacquesM EvansChase SC3‑1069
7thSilver13751R StringerP TateChase SC‑94711
8thGold14021I WillisK DuttonSouth Staffs Sailing Club66‑912
9thGold14210R InstoneLindaChase SC‑87815
10thBronze14246C GroveS GreenChase SC7‑111118
11thGold14199P NicklessS ParkerChase SC108‑1218
12thSilver14239N DaviesI TateChase SC‑18121022
13thBronze13974N BrandonL CarpenterSouth Staffs Sailing Club1213‑1425
14thBronze13949P NugentC SaundersStaunton Harold SC15‑181328
15thBronze13938J PughM TempleSouth Staffs Sailing Club13‑151528
16thSilver14194P ThomasD Frost 14‑171630
17thSilver13870MagicJ VyseWelsh Harp Sailing Club1714(RET)31
18thBronze13263K BuddenB Roberts 1616‑1732
19thBronze13716R SlackH HopkinsChase SC‑19191837
20thBronze14190J Solomanson Aldridge SC(DNC)DNCDNC42

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