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Javelin Open Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club

by Gavin Johnson 6 Jul 2006 09:12 BST 1-2 July 2006
The Javelins enjoy perfect conditions at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club open © Gavin Johnson

Brilliant sunshine and a steady force 2 to 3 from the NorthEast with a strong tide was the order of the day on Saturday. In fact it was so hot that launching from the beach wasn’t an option, so crowded was the beach it resembled seal colony. The fleet launched from the slipway. RN&SYC Commodore Nick Faulkner performed miracles to rake a path to the water.

The first race on Saturday and the fleet set off tightly packed dodging the tide keeping well in to beach. A slight miscalculation or was it misidentification resulted in the leading boats reaching in to the windward mark with Richard Smith and Chris Etchells (566) in the lead followed by Katrin Dienhardt and Olav Schluter (510) . On the following triangle Richard Smith pulled away whilst Katrin and Olav were steadily reeled in by Ben and Dick Fisher (562) and Will and Gavin Johnson (565). The chasing three boats arrived at the leeward mark together. Katrin having excellent up wind speed pulled away leaving Will and Ben battling it out. Meantime Richard Smith imperiously pulled away from the fleet to win followed by Katrin with Ben finishing ahead of Will.

For race two the tide was beginning to slacken. The fleet got away well and at the windward mark Katrin had pulled out a good lead on Will. On the next two legs their lead was cut back and Katrin was overhauled by first Will then Richard Smith all three boats arrived at the leeward mark within 15 seconds of each other. Katrin opted to take the shore whilst Will and Richard struck out early for the middle of the course this was to prove critical as Richard Smith sailing freely powered away from the Will. Whilst the leading two boats pulled away from the remainder of the fleet the positions remained unchanged to the end of the race.

Opens at Lowestoft are noted for special Saturday nights this was no exception, rather than watch the football Lydia Fisher slaved over the Bar-be-que and produced an all time great meal for the hungry hoard complete with an excellent Strawberry Pavlova. Thankyou very much Richard and Lydia. We even managed to measure and compare new sails on Richard’s lawn.

Race three on Sunday was a very light wind affair. The fleet were towed out of the harbour and drifted down on the tide to the committee boat, where as the wind rose then died it looked as if we weren’t to race. Eventually sufficient wind filled in to start a race. Both the Will and Richard were over the line at the start and had to resume the chase after struggling back across the line. Inevitably it was Katrin who rounded the windward mark first with Ben Fisher, Steve Leigh(301) and Nick Faulkner (561) in close attendance. By the wing mark Katrin’s lead looked unassailable and Ben had created quite some distance between himself and the following pack at the gybe Will sneaked in ahead of Steve and working the gusts in the dying breeze worked hard to create depth against the lee bow of the tide catching Ben and Dick at the leeward mark. Over the next beat Will and Gavin steadily reduced the gap on Katrin and Olav pulling away from the remainder of the fleet. On the run with the tide running strongly Katrin and Olav sailed for the wing mark to keep moving over the tide with Will and Gavin in pursuit. Richard Smith put in a do or die gybe toward the shore and picked his way through the fleet. It was Katrin and Olav who with nerves of steel sailed beyond the wing mark before gybing to pull out a good lead. Katrin and Olav took a deserved win from Will and Gavin with Richard Smith finishing third from Steve Leigh in fourth.

The hero of the weekend surely had to be our race officer who managed to run the races when lesser men would have given up. Well done RN&SYC and thankyou for an excellent weekend. Lasting memory sailing into the harbour on Saturday alongside Olav and Katrin the two blue boats together in brilliant sunshine both crews flat out on the wire.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoBoat NameTotal
1Richard SmithChris Etchells566Quicksilver5
2Katrin DienhardtOlav Schluter510Blue Chip6
3Will JohnsonGavin Johnson565Taboo Lexis8
4Ben FisherRichard Fisher562Sarissa12
5Nick FaulknerJohn Meachen561Eminence Grise16
6Steve Leigh 301Nervous Wreck18

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