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Solo & Laser Open at Harlow (Blackwater) Sailing Club

by Alan Jackson 16 Jun 2006 07:26 BST 10-11 June 2006

1-21 knots NW-SE under a blue sky in brilliant sunshine brought smiles and swims to a small but perfectly formed fleet.

The Harlow race box set a testing set of courses inviting the competitors to use all their sailing skills with the higher winds on the Saturday and testy calm on the Sunday.

The host club put out a well-rounded fleet containing the clubs most respected gentlemen with the exception of Jacko and Martin Tarlin, who were there to make the numbers up in the evening barn dance, in which it must be said they were rather shy.

The Solo Fleet was well sorted with Vanda Young making her first appearance in Maylandsea Bay and quickly finding the race marks, revelling in tidal waters and threading her way through the speed killing weed traps to win over all with a 1,2,2,1 score line.

Godfrey Clark, last years winner, made a slow start but came back with a vengeance and only loosing the lead at the penultimate mark against the ebbing tide and shifty wind to see the meeting slip away to finish 2nd with a 4,1,1,2.

Alan Jackson finding himself crewless and clueless put up a brief challenge leading race one but appeared to have peaked too early and trying a few old tricks did well to start in the right fleet and sail the correct course to finish 3rd with a 2,4,3,5.

The racing was close well down the finishing order with the conditions being the real test of the day and the competitors well salted and sun blest, being the winners on a brilliant weekend to be on the River Blackwater with friends old and new alike.

The Laser fleet gathered sporting hiking trousers, the sunshades and a glistening of tanning oil, which wafted around the jetty; we knew the race was on. It was a goodly gathering of old club mates and new visitors but sadly some older faces were missing to the loss of all.

David Griffith looking as fit as ever and revisiting old sailing waters soon got the measure of the fleet and even the excitement which lead to the sailing of a slight difference in course did not detract from a stunning performance and last race cliff hanger as David “who is no fairy” on a light fluky wind and ebbing tide took his second win to take the overall 1st place with a 3,1,DNF,1 score line.

Adrian Degge sporting a new boat beavered away and made little error, gaining a bullet in race 3 finishing 2nd overall with 4,3,1,2. Brian Sargeant battled it out hard but with consistent hard work and concentration finished 3rd with 2,2,2,5. Martin Tarlin is worthy of a mention as a new club member and winner of race 1, also did well finishing 4th with a 1,4,3,3.

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