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Chichester Harbour Gin Solo Open at Papercourt Sailing Club

by Andrew Boyce 15 Oct 19:53 BST 13 October 2019

Papercourt's open is traditionally the last event in not only the Thames Valley but also the Southern Series. In spite of a dire forecast of rain, rain and more rain, fourteen Papercourt and nine visiting Soloists enjoyed the solid 14/20 knot South Westerly under grey skies and with the gusts rifling down the lake many experienced a dip on the way to the start area!

Race 1 went off first time, with many keen racers eager to stretch their legs in the increasing breeze. The first shift came in from the right which allowed James Boyce who'd started at the committee boat to take the lead. Roger Bennett (Silver Wings) and Fraser Hayden (Papercourt) were close behind until Fraser stalled on a tack and washed his sail. Several sailors were caught off guard by both the magnitude and the direction of the gusts downwind resulting in several capsizes including guest appearance from Ian Martin who was making his solo debut in a borrowed boat. Despite a formidable defence from David Mason (Silver Wings) and Paul Playle (Island Barn) Fraser managed to creep back up to 3rd with Simon Derham (Littleton) taking 4th.

Race 2 yet again away first time with even stronger gusts pummelling the fleet up the first beat. The first lap saw James and Dad Andrew in a tight battle managing a perfectly synchronised gybe, James managed to get ahead once again but feeling the pressure of the chasing pack tipped it in on the gybe mark on lap 3 and was promptly overtaken by Roger, Fraser, Andrew and Simon. A tight battle ensued up the following beat with James, Roger and Fraser coming out on top in that order at the finish.

The large hot jacket potatoes with Chilli or Tuna were exactly what the tired sailors needed to give them a brief rest bite before heading back out for another two back to back races. Fortunately for the sailors the wind had moderated slightly over lunch setting the scene for some tight tactical racing in the afternoon.

In Race 3 Andrew managed to round the windward mark first only to fall in on the run. James slipped away. Paul Robinson (Papercourt) finally got into his groove and sailed away into 2nd with Roger leading the pack in 3rd, Ian Martin 4th. James had now won event.

Race 4 and muscles were getting tired! Paul was looking good to lead around the first mark but an error in uprightness cost him a few places but he recovered well.

Fraser seized the opportunity and led around for a while, with pressure from Steve Jones (Littleton), Simon and Roger, but as was his way, James found his pace and slipped away. Andrew showed great determination after a bout of backwards sailing at the start and crept through the fleet to 3rd place. Fraser kept his 2nd with Simon in 4th place.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5115James BoycePSC‑11113
2nd5487Roger BennettSilver Wings223‑97
3rd5381Fraser HaydenPSC33‑628
4th5393Simon DerhamLittleton SC45‑7413
5th5693Ian MartinBurghfield664(RET)16
6th5666Andrew BoycePSC‑21410317
7th5582David MasonSilver Wings5‑128619
8th4973Paul RobinsonPSC1192‑1522
9th5065Sam TozerPSC7‑1451022
10th5730Steve JonesLittleton SC810‑11523
11th5180Paul PlayleIsland Barn(OCS)79723
12th5202Simon HammentPSC1011‑121233
13th4801Godfrey ClarkFishers Green12‑1514834
14th4454Stas LawickiPSC913‑171335
15th5718Craig ClarkePSC‑168161438
16th4970Sue TaylorSilver Wings15(RET)131139
17th4679Mark FullerPSC14(RET)151645
18th5608Simon VerrallDell Quay171618(RET)51
19th4818John HawesPSC18(RET)201755
20th5085John BaplePSC191719(RET)55
21st5575Paul TrevanFrensham Pond13(RET)RETRET63
22nd5256John PantingPSC20(RET)RETRET70
23rd5815Tom KeyPSC(RET)RETRETRET75
23rd4647Bryn WilliamsPSC(RET)RETRETRET75

A welcome tea was laid on for competitors and prize giving followed for the Open,

  • Papercourt Open winner James Boyce -5115 - Papercourt SC
  • Southern Series winner Fraser Hayden - 5381 -Papercourt SC
  • Thames Valley winner Roger Bennett - 5487- Silver wings SC
With many thanks to Chichester Harbour Gin for sponsoring the Southern Series, all the volunteers who helped run the day in particular the Race officer team of Anne and Martin Smith, the tireless safety crews and of course the stars of the galley Jill and Kathy.

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