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OK Travellers at POSH 2019: Paignton Open for Single Handers

by Andrew Holmes 21 May 2019 08:41 BST 11-12 May 2019
OK Travellers at the POSH Regatta © Rhiannon Jones

Seven OKs arrived at Torbay on Saturday morning ready to mix it with a fleet of around 16 other classes of singlehanded boats for the first event of the North Sails Super Series 2019.

The race order was to be at 3 minute intervals, starting with RS varies who were already on the second day of their Nationals. This was followed by the slow fleet, fast fleet and asymmetric skiffs.

The 8-10 knot NW breeze off the coastline put the start line well out into the bay and 100 boats queued up on the slipway. The tide was in, making the available band of beach to launch from only as wide as two trolleys.

Race One - All the sailors got to the course on time and the race officer started promptly. The first beat looked square, splitting the fleet to both ends of the line, everyone looking for clean air and any increasing pressure shifts they could find.

It was Douglas Powell who got to the windward mark first chased by Anthony Osman and Andy Rushworth. Osman could not get past and settled for 3rd position, Powell increased his lead and sailed to the line first.

Race Two - This time Andy Osman got to the first mark in the lead in his beautifully restored 1980s vintage boat with Anthony Osman and Powell close behind. Anthony was quickly into the lead and went on to win. Powell placed second and newcomer to the fleet, Ben Pickering, was third.

Race Three - With an increase in wind, the hiking muscles were letting themselves be felt. Anthony Osman led the race with Powell close behind right to the finish. Andy Holmes benefitted from some mainsheet tension advice form Andy Rushworth which seemed to work. He was just able to take 3rd place.

At the end of day one it was Anthony Osman in the lead with Douglas Powell separated baby only five points and Pickering and Rushworth joint 3rd.

Story of the day

Rover (Mr Rushworth) attracted the over enthusiastic attention of a rib mounted sailing Marshall. In no uncertain terms he was asked to vacate his current position ASAP as the asymmetric skiffs would be along shortly. The bemused Rushworth casually glanced in the direction of the approaching rake of carbon kite poles, and coolly continued on his course leaving enough room for the twenty boats to pass safely behind. In fact, a medium sized aircraft carrier may just have squeezed through as well.

Sunday morning was just as sunny as the previous day. The wind had dropped and swung to the east, now coming from the open bay. There were also a few small waves breaking on the shore. The mid morning first race gun had up up early and the good news was that there was more beach to comfortably launch from.

Race Four - Powell and Holmes had launched earlier than most and used some spare time to sail part of the first beat, looking for the best side. The right side looked fastest.

Anthony Osman went left and tacked across ahead getting to the windward in the lead. Holmes stayed out right far longer than Powell and found clear air, rounding second, Powell close behind.

Going downwind,Holmes was rapidly overtaken but Osman was too far ahead to be challenged. Holmes held on to third ahead of chasing Rushworth.

Race Five - The left side was the place to start from again. Mary Reddyhoff, today using her full sized sail, started from the pin end, stormed up the first beat and easily rounded the first mark in the lead. She held this position for the race win. Powell was doing his best to chase her down but could only manage second. Osman finished in a comfortable third.

Race Six - The wind had now dropped significantly for the last race. Getting clear air was what mattered most. The left side still looked favoured but finding clear air around the other faster boats was a challenge. I'm not sure who rounded the windward mark first but Anthony Osman sailed on to win the race.

Pickering found some late form and sailed into an excellent second, Reddyhoff a close third. Powell finished fourth, his worst result of the weekend.

With racing finished, the 100 boats made for the rapidly disappearing beach.

Story of the day

Mary started from the fastest end of the line and sailed the right way up the first beat into a comfortable lead, holding her position to get her first race win in her new boat.

The weekend delivered some close racing for all competitors. The English Riviera coastline was a scenic backdrop in the early Summer sunshine. Paignton Sailing Club's hospitality was only matched by the excellent race management team getting six challenging races started with the minimum of delays.

Overall Results:

1 Anthony Osman
2 Douglas Powell
3 Andrew Holmes
4 Ben Pickering
5 Andy Rushworth
6 Mary Reddyhoff
7 Andy Osman

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