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Solo Eastern Area Championships at Brightlingsea Sailing Club

by Jarvis Simpson 17 Sep 19:55 BST

Brightlingsea Sailing Club hosted the Solo Eastern Area Championships for the second consecutive year. 14 Solos arrived, despite a forecast for very light winds. However, Race Officer Sarah Conlon and her very experienced Race Team were confident of a sea breeze arriving, and it duly did.

Race 1

Race 1 started bang on time at 12.30. Competitors faced a three-quarter mile beat into the last of the spring tide flood. Maskell and Simpson started at the un-favoured Committee Boat and headed right into slacker tide. The bulk of the fleet headed left into stronger tide, however when they tacked onto port, they found themselves on a very nice lift with more pressure. All of this meant that we had a very tight windward mark rounding and some intense tactical downwind sailing. At the finish it was Laurie first, Clark second, and Simpson third.

Race 2

Sarah Conlon and team changed the course in short order, and the fleet was off into a now ebbing tide. Jonny Wells won the pin end contest, to be greeted by an optimistic port tacker in the shape of Geoff Gritton. The fleet headed out into the favourable tide, and it was Maskell and Simpson rounding the windward mark overlapped. In a slightly increasing breeze over a nice wind-over-tide chop Maskell moved clear ahead of Simpson on the second beat. They finished in this order with Wells in third.

Race 3

With everything still to play for race 3 got under way, with Simpson winning the pin end contest. However shortly after the start there was a starboard lift, turning the starting order upside down.

The windward mark was congested but Maskell was in the lead, with Laurie, Wells and Aldridge in the leading group. Maskell extended to take the win followed by Laurie and Wells in third.

This gave Mark Maskell the title, with Rob Laurie second overall and Jarvis Simpson third.

Thanks must go to Sarah Conlon and her race team for a very professional, well-organised series.

Top five results:

1st Mark Maskell - Blackwater Sailing Club
2nd Rob Laurie - Harlow (Blackwater) Sailing Club
3rd Jarvis Simpson - Brightlingsea Sailing Club
4th Godfrey Clark - Fishers Green Sailing Club
5th Jonny Wells - Essex Yacht Club

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