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Musto 2023 Hikers LEADERBOARD

Heron Northern Championship at Yeadon Sailing Club

by Trish, Lucy and Tony 14 Oct 2019 16:00 BST 7 September 2019
Heron Northerns at Yeadon © YSC

A couple of regular travelling Heron sailors were unable to be present for the Heron Open, those being Dave Butler of Welton SC who unfortunately had had an argument with a wall and had broken three ribs, and Andrew Molyneux who had the opportunity to sail his Aero at another meet.

The day began with a rather chilly start and winds of about 10 mph with fairly strong gusts. It was to prove the usual sailing conditions at Yeadon with the wind dying down quite dramatically at times and then coming back to great sailing conditions. The sun appeared and it proved to be a bright and sunny, generally breezy meeting with the wind coming from the North over the runway, swinging a little to one side or the other.

Race 1

In the first race, Jim and De St Paers in 10344 the only double-handed boat at the Open, were off to a good start with Mac having a little trouble getting off the start line. Yeadon's Tony Dufton took the lead by the first mark but the De St Paers took a slightly different tack and overtook the 2 leaders by a mile. They let out their spinnaker on the downward run and sped off, followed at a distance by Tony, Jim and John, normally a Mirror sailor, in 10335 which he had borrowed from Tricia Atkinson and Louise Harding who weren't sailing on this occasion. Mac and Matthew (who only entered at the very last minute, borrowing various club kit) were having a little tussle of their own and bringing up the rear. John lost the wind at this stage and dropped back by a couple of places whilst Tony Dufton took the lead. 10344 let out its spinnaker once more but without quite the same impact. Tony dropped back to 4th and 10344 and 10317 stretched their lead. The wind reduced and swung round giving John the opportunity to get into 3rd place whereas Tony and Roger Stephenson had trouble at the top mark and dropped way back with Mac gaining 5th. The race was finished for lunch break to give Jim Robison the opportunity to come in first past the post, with the De St Paers in second and John Wheble in third. However on handicap the first race went to Ann and Mike in 10344.

Race 2

The same course was set for Race 2 with a little variation to the helm of 10337, a YSC club Heron, now helmed by Andy Baines of YSC who is generally a Laser sailor and had in fact never sailed a Heron before.

The field were off to a steady start, no boat gaining a particularly fast start. Soon the De St Paers were out in front followed quite evenly spaced by Jim, Roger, Tony and John with a gap developing at the back to Mac and Andy.

However by the time they had come around the back of the island, Jim was just out in front. The wind suddenly died down and the rest of the field became bunched together with Jim sailing off virtually into the sunset!

Jim maintained his good lead with 10344 making good use again of the spinnaker on the run towards the clubhouse where they took a sharp turn around the mark to pip John closely followed by Roger whereby a tit for tat ensued in front of the clubhouse between the latter two boats. However the three boats of 10344, 10340 and 10337 were becalmed with 10317 sailing gaily on, way ahead, allowing Tony to come through and whiz around the next mark putting him into second position. The rest of the field were strung out behind with the De St Paers at the back for the first time. They headed up to the island where things seemed to go awry for a few of the boats except of course for 10317 by now untouchable. Unfortunately for John, after opening a gap, he collided with the mark and had to do his penalties, leaving him back in 4th position.

Jim came in to take the race way in magnificent style with a competition on the run towards the last mark between Roger and Ann and Mike, where the latter just sneaked the inside track around the mark but Roger was not giving up and an exciting race for the line began. It could have been a photo finish but the OOD ruled that Ann and Mike in 10344 just took it. The remaining boats came in as Tony, John, Mac and Andy.

Race 3

Well the trophy was by now a two-horse race between Jim already a national champion and still relatively new to the class Mike and Anne. The chase for third was red hot between Jon, Tony and Roger. The club Heron Helmed by Andy could also cause an upset. Mac had decided to conserve his energy for the second day of racing at Welton S.C. Who had stepped into provide three races on the Sunday as sadly Huddersfield S.C had Dam wall issues. Looking forward to 2020.

The mid-afternoon Yeadon mistral didn't appear instead the usual tricky conditions persisted. Tony Dufton made a good start in 108, but was soon over taken by Mike and Anne in ski expertly flying their spinnaker, then Jim in his boat Ginger followed by Jon, sailing a borrowed Heron. The battle for first had begun and the spectators loved the place swapping between Jim and the De St Paer pair. Would Jim repeat his performance in the second race? Jon wasn't far behind either. Meanwhile Tony was hanging onto 4th with Roger catching him rapidly in his new to him heron and Andy Bains not too far behind. A valiant effort Andy. Back at the sharp end though it was still neck and neck between Ski 10344 and Ginger 10317. Mike and Anne won through though in the end leaving Jim to think what could have been. John took third to secure the final place on the podium and a well-deserved bottle of wine. Tony hung on to forth and shard forth with Roger over the day. I am sure you can work the rest of the field out.

Well done everybody who entered. Special thanks to the officers of the day Patrick and Genis, plus Gren and her team for providing an excellent lunch. What would the Sunday at Welton bring? See you all next Year.

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