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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 3 - LEADERBOARD

Leader National Championship 2019 at Milton Keynes Sailing Club

by Ian Ayres 21 Oct 2019 14:08 BST 12-13 October 2019
Leader Nationals at Milton Keynes © Race Office @ MKSC

Having been blown off at Reading earlier in the summer; the Leader nationals were rearranged to coincide with their open at Milton Keynes over the weekend of 12 / 13th October. Given the very wet forecast for Sunday it was decided by the competitors to run a four race Nationals on the Saturday (a wise decision as it turned out!).

South westerly winds meant a good first beat could be set into the far left hand corner of Caldecote lake; the fleet converged from both sides of the beat with Mike & Val Sherwen (Felixtowe Ferry) narrowly leading from John & Martha Carron (Milton Keynes) and Dave & Anne Lomas (Reading). The Sherwens managed to hold their lead downwind, with the Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes) sailing over the top of the pack, whilst Ian & Sharnon Ayres (Rollesby Broad) flew their spinnaker on a lower route to emerge in third.

The Sherwens seemed to have a slight upwind edge, whilst the Ayres gained downwind, with the Wharmbys sandwiched in between and it was quite rightly the Sherwens who led home a close top three with the Carrons in fourth.

A change of course and slightly more southerly breeze in race two meant the wind was more puffy and shifty. The Ayres and the Carrons chose to port start, with the Ayres opening a good lead by the windward mark. The course then took the fleet trough a major wind shadow and the fleet all closed up. The Ayres had sufficient gap to round the first gybe mark in front, hoist their spinnaker and escape, not to be challenged again. The bunch stayed really close together, with Sally and Mike Newlove (Reading) and Tom Hayle and Keith King (Welwyn Garden) enjoying the best second beats to lead back into the 'hole' on lap two. Experience eventually told as the Sherwens worked their way through to second with the Wharmbys third.

After lunch the wind had settled in direction and port starts were the order again, this time the Carrons hit the line with the Ayres in close pursuit, the Sherwens were slightly further down the line but also on port and these three were clear of the fleet by halfway up the beat. The Ayres were the first to put in the small starboard hitch needed to make the top mark and remembered to round it the other way from the previous races! They slowly pulled clear of the fleet, with the Carrons in pursuit as the Sherewens used their jib pole to good effect to close down the long run. In a short race (to allow for a fourth) the Ayres took the win from the Sherwens. These two crews now both had five points!

By the start of race four the wind had started to fall, but everyone knew where to start! The Wharmbys caused chaos on the line with a mysterious tack in the middle of a tightly packed bunch! Nev Robson and Hugh Leach (Reading) were able to sail clear; whilst the rest untangled themselves; and led by several lengths at the first mark. On the second lap the Sherwens and the Wharmbys worked clear of the group and started to close in on Robson & Leach, as the wind died completely on the third and final lap the Sherwens slowly and steadily reeled them in, looking for the win they needed to take the meeting. With a very short last beat Robson and Leach were delighted to hear the shorten course as they held on for a well earned result. This left the top two teams still tied with the Ayres taking the prize on countback from the Sherwens having won the two middle races.

Overall Results:

1. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby Broad) 5pts
2. Mike & Val Sherwen (Felixtowe Ferry) 5pts
3. Chris & Jane Wharmy (Milton Keynes) 8pts
4. John & Martha Carron (Milton Keynes) 11pts
5. Nev Robson & Hugh Leach (Reading) 14pts

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