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Streaker Open at Newhaven & Seaford Sailing Club

by Neil Firth 2 Jul 2019 07:13 BST 29 June 2019
Streakers at Newhaven & Seaford Sailing Club © Chris Turner

The Southern Streaker fleet chose the hottest day of the year (so far) for a trip to the seaside! We arrived at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club on 29 June for three back-to-back races with a gentle 10 knots forecast. Out on the water, the intense heat ashore was soon forgotten, as attention turned to some close and competitive racing.

Race 1 started in lighter airs than forecast. Neil Firth of Banbury had good boat speed and spotted the wind shifts to establish an early lead which he extended as the race progressed. Behind Neil, there was a tussle for second between Chris Smith of Island Barn and James Dawes of Redditch. Racing was very tight between these two for most of the race, but ultimately it was James who pulled through to take second, with Chris in third.

The breeze picked up a bit for race 2 with the opportunity for some planing on the reaches of the P-shaped course. The fleet was evenly matched going up the first beat, with Chris getting the best of the shifts to lead at the windward mark, closely followed by Neil in second and Rupert Smith of Newhaven and Seaford in third. On the subsequent beat, Chris hoped that the left side would pay, as it had on the first lap, but Neil, Rupert and James all played the middle and right to good effect, pushing Chris back to fourth. Neil then held a narrow lead over Rupert for the rest of the race with James working his way forward to almost, but not quite, pip Rupert on the line.

Surprisingly, the sea breeze didn't materialise in time for race 3 and the wind eased again slightly. Neil spotted the port bias on the line and managed to tack across the fleet after starting at the pin end. He didn't give up this early lead, although James was never far behind as these two opened up a bit of a gap on the rest of the fleet. Rupert won the battle for third over Chris, with Alan Simmons of Lancing close behind these two.

So, overall, that left Neil Firth winning the regatta and taking three valuable bullets towards the Pinnell & Bax Southern Paddle Series. James Dawes was second and Rupert Smith was third. Our thanks go to Newhaven and Seaford SC for their hospitality, particularly Race Officer Chris Turner and his team for a very efficiently run event. See you next year!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoNameClubR1R2R3Pts
11977Neil FirthBanbury SC1113
22112James DawesRedditch SC2327
31681Rupert SmithNewhaven & Seaford SC4239
41844Chris SmithIsland Barn Reservoir SC34411
51700Alan SimmonsLancing SC55515

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