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K6 Open at Stone Sailing Club

by Dave Hall 14 May 11:43 BST 11-12 May 2019
Laura, Anna & Fraser Elms win the Stone K6 Open © Georgina Smith

Teams from five clubs gathered at Stone SC to race on the Blackwater Estuary. Saturday brought a variety of conditions with four seasons in one day including a drifting balmy sunny period and a ferocious hail storm.

The first race kicked off in just enough wind to make it over the tide, Laura, Anna & Fraser Elms nipped round the first mark just before the wind went very light. While the rest of the fleet struggled around the mark Laura and her team set off down wind down tide and into the lead. A lead they held to the finish without being really challenged.

The second race looked like a repeat of the first with Laura, Anna & Fraser leading at the first mark, however they were overhauled down wind by Dave Hall & Paul Own who went on to take the gun. The wind piped up for the last race of the day, Neil Fulcher and Riki lead for the first lap with Dave & Paul in hot pursuit. At the last mark rounding all hell broke loose, the wind did a 180 degree shift and brought with it a massive hail storm. Neil & Riki got knocked flat briefly and the rest of the fleet were left easing their sails out wondering where the next squall was going to come from. With the lack of visibility, the disorientated fleet had to shake itself down and as the mist cleared Nick Jones & Simon Hollington took full advantage of the wind shift and sailed down to the finish to take a win.

After a great social night for which Stone are famous for, the teams woke up to sunshine and a light easterly with a forecast for it to go right and increase. Nick & Simon took an early lead but were overtaken down wind by Dave & Paul. However, Dave's over enthusiastic mark rounding in the tide caught the keel on the buoy anchor line and there they stayed while everyone else sailed by. Nick & Simon lead until the last downwind leg when Laura, Anna & Fraser just nipped past them at the finish. The second race of the day was still a light wind affair, Laura's team were straight out of the blocks taking the lead which they held to the finish in spite of a strong challenge from Dave & Paul.

The wind finally came in for the last race of the day. Neil & Riki and Dave & Paul were nip and tuck all the way around with each other capitalising on each other's errors or misfortunes. It was close right to the end with Neil & Riki just getting the jump on the last gybe to take the gun.

The points were close but it was Team Elms who won the event with young Laura helming and even younger sister Anna crewing. Dad was there for the ride!

Many thanks for the team at Stone both on and off the water.

Overall Results:

1st Laura, Anna & Fraser Elms (Hayling Island SC) 9pts
2nd Dave Hall & Paul Owen (Blackwater SC) 10pts
3rd Neil Fulcher & Riki (Stone SC) 13pts
4th Nick Jones & Simon Hollington (Royal Burnham SC) 13pts
5th Richard Addison & Steve Debury (Aldeburgh SC) 26pts
6th Alex Cooper & Danny Hilling (Aldeburgh SC) 28pts

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