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Clipper Ventures

Streaker open meeting at Ardleigh Sailing Club

by Ian Bradley 24 Jun 14:39 BST 22 June 2019
Streaker open meeting at Ardleigh © Karen Langston

Four visitors joined two local boats (and a strong Solo fleet) at Ardleigh SC on a promise of wall-to-wall sunshine and a good wind. What could be better? The two local boats were ones well known on the open circuit a few years ago, only looking better than they had done in a considerable while.

Race 1 started as a dead beat for the Solos, who hadn't even reached the windward mark when we set off five minutes later on a reach and a fetch, so unsurprisingly the leading Streakers were in amongst the Solos before the end of the first lap. First to the windward mark was Ian Bradley (2121) from Veronica Falat (1972) who had a last minute wind shift, then Bradley capitalised on this misfortune to stretch out his lead, only to lose it to an excellent demonstration from Falat of 'always sail in clear air' on the next beat.

Falat reached the mark comfortably ahead of him, but unfortunately the opposite tactic applied a couple of legs later when Bradley had just enough wind to sail over the top of half the Solo fleet and pip her into a tiny lead which he kept until the finish. Further down the fleet, Andy Skeet (1501) managed a capsize to wake the dead which cost him dearly due to a lost daggerboard and led to him popping up amongst the leaders causing a few double-takes from competitors and race officers alike.

Race 2 saw Bradley off to a good start again. He led for three laps until the tiniest bit of weed round his rudder collected round the last mark saw Falat, who had been nipping at his heels all the way round the course, sail through his lee and pull gradually away from him to the finish line. She was of course most sympathetic as to his plight. Mark Langston (1920) stuck with the leaders for some time, but had to settle for a comfortable third after windshifts left him too far adrift.

After a hearty lunch it was off again for the deciding race between Bradley and Falat with 3 points each going in to the start. Falat decided to make it more exciting by losing her rudder and capsizing just on the five minute gun. Much to everyone's relief(!) she recovered the boat, made it up to the start line with 15 seconds to spare and got a perfectly good start. Jonathan Blankley was the early leader but Veronica overtook him on a reach and led the fleet, finishing ahead at the end of every lap except the one that counted, when Bradley snuck through as they made their way through the Solos. This was enough to give Bradley the overall honours, and the day was interesting enough for Andy Skeet to decide he wanted to go to more Opens - see you at Oulton Broad in July, Andy!

Overall Results:

PositionNameSail No.R1R2R3
1Ian Bradley2121121
2Veronica Falat1972212
3Jonathan Blankley1568343
4Mark Langston1920434
5Andy Skeet1501565
6Tim Snow451656

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