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Melges 14 2019 Leaderboard

Solo Western Area Championship at Tata Steel Sailing Club

by John Steels & John Rischmiller 23 Apr 09:41 BST 13-14 April 2019
Solo Western Area Championship at Tata Steel Sailing Club © Jacob Dear / John Lockett

On the 13th & 14th April, Tata Steel SC welcomed the Osprey and the Solos to a joint Open Meeting. The entry was a little down on last year but the stalwarts who came were treated to a weekend of exciting and eventful sailing. A much-depleted local fleet of three Solos were joined by ten visitors, some travelling significant distances for the event.

Race Officer, John Lockett, set challenging 'triangle/sausage' courses, making full use of the length and width of the reservoir.

On Saturday three races were run, with a great lunch separating races 1 & 2. The wind blew from the south east and was a very gusty force 4-5 with some massive shifts, providing several helms with opportunities to inspect the bottoms of their boats. Shane MacCarthy and Chris Brown were having an epic battle at the front with Shane leading after 3 races with two 1sts and a 2nd to Chris's 1st and two 2nds.

Sunday's forecast was somewhat ominous, even colder, wind from the same direction but gusting up to force 7. This resulted in only 8 starters for race 4, Chris managed to pip Shane for first there were multiple place changes behind them with Andy Fox finishing 3rd with Tony Thresher 4th and Jason Taylor 5th. So it was all to play for in the 5th and final race, Shane was just shading it but Chris caught Shane on starboard just at the end of the final beat, Shane completed his turns and as a result handed the last race and the championship to Chris.

As the event was the Western Area Championship, additional prizes were given for unplaced Veteran (over 50), Grand Master (over 60) and Septimus (over 70). By general agreement the Septimus trophy went to Brian Milford from Towy BC who had entered for the series but had wisely decided, at 82, the conditions were too much and had sat the series out.

At the prize-giving all the competitors were full of praise for Tata Steel SC's professional handling of the event, with testing courses and excellent rescue facilities, plus hot food available, and an entertaining evening meal on the Saturday. Commodore Linda Ingram thanked the competitors for coming to the event despite the forecast and looked forward to welcoming them all again next year. It is possible that the Welsh Championship will be reinstated (at Tata Steel SC) in 2020 as part of the Solo Super Series - watch this space.

Overall Results:

1st, 5834, Chris Brown, RYA, 5pts
2nd, 5808, Shane MacCarthy, Greystones SC, 6pts
3rd, 5782, Nigel Davies, Draycote Water SC, 14pts
4th, 5745, Andrew Fox, Leigh & Lowton SC, 17pts
5th, 4927, Tony Thresher, West Oxfordshire, 22pts
6th, 5038, Jason Taylor, Tata Steel SC, 23pts
7th, 5130, Mark Lee, Lymington Town SC, 27pts
8th, 5786, John Steels, Starcross YC, 38pts
9th, 5104, Bob Taylor, Tata Steel SC, 38pts
10th, 5851, Roger Guess, Salcombe YC, 41pts
11th, 5731, Vernon Perkins, South Cerney SC, 46pts
12th, 5356, Graham Don, Tata Steel SC, 52pts
13th, 5008, Brian Milford, Towy BC, 56pts

1st Veteran, Andrew Fox, Leigh & Lowton SC
1st Grand Master, Tony Thresher, West Oxfordshire
1st Septimus, Brian Milford, Towy BC

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