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Zhik National Cadet Class Spring Series at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Neil Collingridge 9 May 06:17 BST 4-5 May 2019

What an extraordinary weekend of weather Grafham Water served up as the last of the Spring Series to determine this summer's British Team for the 53rd Cadet World Championships in Poland. It's never a doddle to qualify to represent your country - nor should it be - but with 40 knot gusts hitting the fleet on Saturday and 40 degree shifts puzzling the sailors and frying their minds on Sunday this was an event straight out of the book of hard knocks.

After a delay for a couple of hours to let the worst of the weather pass through the fleet set out at lunchtime on Saturday to a start just left of the clubhouse with a long triangle sausage course set into the brisk cold Northerly wind. We could see huge bands of weather approaching from the top of the reservoir but the sailors were up for it as the sequence counted down. As the gun went so the big gust arrived - one boat dismasted with the unfortunate crew hit on the head as it fell; off to A&E for a check up - happily all OK, numerous boats over and helms and crews climbing onto upturned hulls and laughing at the chaos around them. The rescue fleet couldn't get everyone upright immediately but our protocol of checking for 2 heads with each boat swung into action like clockwork and it was soon clear that the vast majority were happy enough - many having a hoot!

Eventually with the regatta fleet safely ashore and various boat issues sorted out (including Katie Yelland's dismasted Cadet back out on course, albeit with a replacement crew) Arky our PRO managed to get the fleet away after a couple of false starts as the wind swung right and left with frustrating regularity. The wind was still blowing dogs off chains and the usual Twitter and Whatsapp updates went by the board as huge deluges of water hit sailors and rescue crews alike. Several boats took a bath flying spinnakers at great speed downwind and a gaggle of boats were disqualified for rounding the wrong mark at the bottom of the triangle but after 3 laps Hazel Whittle and Gwen Thorogood took the lead down the final run from Katie Yelland and Phoebe Barr with a barnstorming flat out 3 sailed plane from top to bottom demonstrating the benefit of sailing the rhumb line and so the shortest course. It was one of those "will they wont they make it" reaches where you felt disaster could strike at any moment - as indeed it did about 20m after they'd crossed the finish line. Yasmin Sfaxi and Matteo Mancini also mastered the conditions to finish in third.

After quite a long cold wait and some more attempts at getting a start away, the biggest blackest cloud of the day loomed over the horizon and a very good call was made to get everyone ashore quickly just as a huge 40 knot monster ripped through the fleet. It had been a long day on the water with only one race to show for the sailors' efforts but no one was complaining at getting in, showered and warmed up. Brutal!

Sunday was still cold and there was still decent breeze. An early start saw Arky looking to get 4 races in but the forecast was for the wind to die as the day progressed and with the 3rd discard for the Worlds qualifying series only due to kick in on the completion of the 4th race (race 15 in the series) those who had squandered their discards earlier on in the series were keen to get things going.

Race 2 of the weekend saw Cally Terkelsen and Pippa Smith master the snakes and ladders upwind the best to take a win from Olivia Gowland and Hettie Thorogood and Ethan Davey and Alex Enkel in third. There were big shifts and pressure differences across the course which unravelled the early leaders and saw some big place changes as the race progressed.The coached Regatta fleet was won by Tristan Whittle and Dom McArdle with Tom Walker and Ned Fairhurst second.

Race 3, more shifts, more snakes and ladders, more place changing plus some start line controversy where the general recall flag appeared to to raised momentarily only to be quickly replaced with an individual recall flag.....various requests for redress (subsequently granted) were to follow from those who returned, bore away or just took things easy for a few moments. Anyway the race saw a return to form from Lia Fletcher and Kali Karaskas winning from Cally and Pippa with the ever consistent Phoebe Bradshaw and Rhona Enkel in third. In regatta fleet no change in the leader positions - Tristan and Dom from Tom and Ned.

On to race 4 and positions were tightening up as we approached the business end of the qualifying series. This is the time when traditionally the pressure mounts and every position counts. That this was taking place against a failing wind and with massive shifts, holes and pressure differences just added to the obvious tension. Down the first reach and it was immediately apparent that the fleet had rejected anything like the usual pecking order - Hannah Carruthers and Libby Daunter rounded the windward first with Will and Tom Sheppard and Jess Watling and Lily Buckton as company. Only Phoebe and Rhona from the usual suspects were up with the leading bunch and many a World Team aspirant was struggling to make up ground from the back. After 3 rounds of topsy turvy position changing to a large part normal service had been resumed - Cally and Pippa in first followed by Phoebe and Rhona and Lia and Kali. No such drama in regatta fleet with Tristan and Dom again leading round from Tom and Ned.

By now the wind had started to pack up and go home - it probably felt it had given us our fair quota for the weekend and it wasn't its fault we hadn't used it to get our compliment of races in. A long tense wait to see what happened, some mental maths to work out some overall positions, and a few silent prayers from those for whom one final race and the extra discard would help, and surely some prayers also from those for whom it wouldn't. Arky our race officer is nothing if not tenacious and so after maybe half an hour's wait away they went again into a fickle breeze that seemed to have re-established itself albeit pretty feeble. This was watching paint dry - boats ghosting forwards - boats still in with an outside chance looking good at the windward and then plenty of place changes downwind... but alas the wind disappeared entirely up the second beat so the only fair outcome was to abandon - one or two boats were ever so close to the second windward where a shortened course would have been possible but virtually no one else would have been able to complete so it was a good call even if one or two were disappointed.

That was it for the sailing. Prize giving with generous gifts from Zhik followed the requests for redress and then the announcement of the 2019 GBR Cadet World Team:

  • 8352 Cally Terkelsen and Pippa Smith
  • 9983 Hazel Whittle and Gwen Thorogood
  • 9984 Ben Goult and Alex McEwan
  • 10002 Katie Yelland and Dom Rowell
  • 10004 Phoebe Bradshaw and Rhona Enkel
  • 10012 Lia Fletcher and Kali Karaskas
  • 10051 Ethan Davey and Alex Enkel
They have worked hard for their places and we wish them all well in Poland this summer at the Worlds where the competition will no doubt be as tough as ever. Watch this space!

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14Pts
1stGold10012Lia FletcherKali KaraskasWaldringfield SC/Stone SC53111011111(RET)‑131329
2ndGold10004Phoebe BradshawRhona EnkelFrensham Pond SC/Maylandsea66‑11‑7244323473246
3rdGold8352Cally TerkelsenPippa SmithStone SC11221422913(OCS)(DSQ)12150
4thGold9983Hazel WhittleGwen ThorogoodWaldringfield SC28561‑117‑134918RDG864.7
5thGold10002Katie YellandDom RowellFrensham Pond SC7‑11‑143866287294466
6thGold10051Ethan DaveyAlex EnkelWaldringfield SC/Maylandsea10‑1264953(DSQ)625371070
7thGold9028Elinor WatlingGeorge LittleFrensham Pond SC958‑115105435710RDG‑1682
8thGold9994Daisy NunnOscar BushWaldringfield SC4248111995(DNF)8(RET)46686
9thGold8420Rosie TargettSophia SfaxiFrensham Pond SC‑1271094‑1211710116115798
10thGold9984Ben GoultAlex McEwanFrensham Pond SC139‑2151678874(DSQ)51017109
11thGold9985Olivia GowlandHarriet ThorogoodWaldringfield SC341214138‑221112‑1592RDG15111.7
12thGold9964Yasmin SfaxiMatteo ManciniFrensham Pond SC/Fishers Green15‑161310‑1813121251431299127
13thGold9877Hamish CollingridgeRobert StewartWaldringfield SC‑2020312(RET)20166111886RDG14143.3
14thGold9982Charlotte LeighTom KrailingWaldringfield SC1117917159‑211596(DSQ)141412148
15thSilver10003Libbie BushImogen MayhewWaldringfield SC14‑212020171510171510(RET)151613182
16thGold9020Jessica WatlingLilly BucktonFrensham Pond SC17DGA161519‑2114162020(RET)171211194.5
17thGold10076Hannah CarruthersLibby DaunterFrensham Pond SC241372220(UFD)DGBDGBDGBDGB(DSQ)20185205.8
18thGold8845Toby SlumpEmily CullenFrensham Pond SC1914191371717191412(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC209
19thGold10001Toby BushKemmel ThorogoodWaldringfield SC211815186161518(RET)(DNC)DSQ18DNCDNC232
20thSilver9027Phoebe BarrBrandon BarkerRoyal Corinthian YC/Stone SC181522(OCS)123(OCS)OCS1817DNC24OCS22238
21stGold9378Will ShepherdTom ShepherdFrensham Pond2223‑2421211819202216(DNC)231918242
22ndGold9977Sam GoultElliot ChapmanFrensham Pond SC16221716(RET)(DNC)13101721DNCDNCDNCDNC248
23rdGold9962Ollie MearsWill MearsRoyal Corinthian YC81018(OCS)314(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC256
24thSilver9673Alana CorbettMonty SlumpFrensham Pond SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC2021192210162119264
25thSilver9321Ines GreenEmilia MayhewWaldringfield SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC18141613RET221721266
26thSilver7202Emilia HamptonJemima McMorrisSouth Cerney SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC23222119DNC192220291
27thSilver10032Amelia MayhewLoulou MayhewWaldringfield SC231923192222(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCRETDNCDNCDNC302
28thSilver9576Edward FletcherCharlie BaileyWaldringfield SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC2120RET331

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