Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90
Product Feature
Boat Whisperer Tactics Double DVD
Boat Whisperer Tactics Double DVD

Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone Sailing Club

by Adam Froggatt 17 Sep 20:48 BST 8 September 2019
Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone © Carolyn Hand

After several days of strong winds Sunday 8th September 2019 brought brilliant sunshine and a gentle force 2 to Swarkestone Sailing Club in Derbyshire for the return of the club's Graduate Open after a hiatus of seven years. Also returning to Swarkestone was the "Derwent Challenge Trophy" which has been in the care of David and Sandra Wilson who, in Graduate 2974, won the event in three out of the last four outings.

What David and Sandra knew from previous opens, and many of the rest of us were about to learn for the first time, was that the beauty and calm of Swarkestone is very deceptive and the gentle wind we found on arrival would prove to be what can only be described as at best as skittish, but more honestly as devilish, as it shifted direction and strength on a whim!

And so, it was that eight Graduates gathered to race, crewed by husbands and wives and twins and triplets.

Eight boats took to the line for the first race and local lads Patrick and Jonathan Hill choose the starboard end of the line getting the best start and showing great speed. At the windward mark Adam & Jack Froggatt managed to round first, closely by Patrick and Jonathan with Richard and Jane Thorpe in third and John and Josh Froggatt in fourth. Adam and Jack managed to pull ahead and hold their lead to the finish whilst the rest of the fleet had a great battle chasing the best wind with Richard and Jane winning through to take second, Dave and Sandra taking third and the juniors not far behind.

After an excellent lunch the fleet regrouped for Race 2 with the majority of the fleet choosing this time to start at the starboard end leaving Hannah Whitham and Henry White near the pin. Hannah's decision paid off in the skittish Swarkestone wind allowing her to take an early lead. On the left-hand side of the course Adam, now sailing with Josh, also managed to find some wind and crossed the fleet to round the windward mark first, closely followed by Richard and Jane and Dave and Sandra.

Then on the second reach Richard and Jane deftly took the lead which, despite some hard chasing from Adam and Josh, they held to the finish. Dave and Sandra again took third place whilst the sparing pairs of Patrick and Jonathan versus Hannah and Henry, and Simon and Moses Forward versus Ami Hopkins raced for the finish with John and Jack Froggatt, until John realised that Jack was no longer in the boat!

Going into Race 3 both Richard and Jane and Adam and Jack/Josh had a first and second taking it to a final race decider. However, there was a minor disaster for Adam - both boys having mutinied in favour of the club's swings - but his day was rescued by Carolyn Hand from Swarkestone Sailing Club who kindly agreed to crew the final race. At this stage of the afternoon the wind was dropping, but there was just enough to race.

This time most of the fleet opted for the starboard end with Adam and Cass narrowly winning the start, with Richard and Jane and Dave and Sandra chasing - this was going to be an exciting race. On the run Richard and Jane showed great boat speed, sailing under Adam and Caz to take the lead, which they then held right to the last mark where Adam and Caz managed to tack above them on the beat to the line and take the win by one second with Dave and Sandra in third place, enjoying the best seats in the house as the drama unfolded.

All in all, it was a fantastic day's sailing and it was clear that everyone enjoyed the challenges of Swarkestone's wind and the other Graduates on the water. The welcome we received from the club was exceptional and everyone really appreciated the time and effort that had clearly been invested in the event and the pleasure expressed by members at seeing a Graduate fleet racing for the Challenge Trophy again. It was fantastic to see our younger graduate sailors doing so well with Patrick and Jonathan winning the Juniors and Hannah winning the Ladies prizes.

Finally can we express our sincere thanks to Joanne Hill for time and effort she put into making this event happen and for the lovely soup and cakes devoured by everyone. Thanks also must be extended to the OOD - Tim Hand, Rescue - Patrick Bowles (and son), David Hill and David Moore, plus Commodore.

Related Articles

Graduates at Bolton
Hard won finishing positions throughout the fleet Three home boats and three visitors competed at the Bolton Sailing Club Graduate Open on 25th August. The standard of racing was very high, resulting in hard won finishing positions at all positions in the fleet. Posted on 26 Aug
Graduate Northerns at Bassenthwaite
A very enjoyable weekend for the fleet With the first race scheduled for the afternoon, the wind forecast was not promising. As expected, it gradually died off through the morning as the fleet of 10 Graduates gathered on the shores of beautiful Lake Bassenwthaite. Posted on 4 Aug
Graduates at Chipstead
"I saw my burgee slowly rotate a complete 360 degrees" On the 12th of May 2019, we had our Chipstead Sailing Club annual Graduate Open Meeting. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and the wind was coming straight down the lake from the East. Race Officer Richard Ball set up a figure of eight course. Posted on 15 May
Graduate Nationals at Stewartby Water
Ine of the best attended in recent years This year's Graduate Nationals were hosted by Stewartby Water Sports Club. With 17 Graduates entered this was one of the best attended Nationals in recent years. Posted on 14 May
Stay Cosy with Huge Savings on Warm Jackets
We might be well into Spring but the forecast says otherwise! We might be well into Spring but the forecast says otherwise! Keep yourself warm and protected whilst out on the water or exploring on shore with a jacket from your favourite clothing brands, now at discounted prices. Posted on 11 May
Graduates at Bolton
With a prize for the most impressive 'excuse' There were five Graduates at Bolton Sailing Club for the annual Graduate Open on 28th August. With one week to go there had been ten boats lined-up to come but a combination of individual circumstances halved the fleet as the week progressed. Posted on 29 Aug 2018
The ONE Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week overall
Midweek races and final weekend series report Well that's "Bassweek" over for another year! It was one of the more successful ones with the generally fine weather and the high (for the north!) temperatures helping considerably. Posted on 15 Aug 2018
Graduate Northerns at Bassenthwaite
Stunning scenery and T-shirt weather There were six Graduates at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club for the annual Northern Championships during the weekend of 4th and 5th August. Posted on 8 Aug 2018
The ONE Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week days 1 & 2
Four race series kicks off the nine day regatta As usual a four race series kick started the nine day Regatta. It was warm throughout the weekend and mainly sunny but winds were consistently light; so much so that there was a two hour delay on Sunday morning before a line could be laid. Posted on 6 Aug 2018
Graduate Nationals at Notts County
Superb conditions for the event held during the club's Spring Regatta During the May bank holiday weekend, the Graduate sailors gathered at Notts County SC for their 2018 Nationals. With the forecast of thunderstorms for the weekend, it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted with blue skies and a force four northerly wind. Posted on 31 May 2018