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Christmas Cracker at Weston Sailing Club

by Mike Murley 31 Dec 2019 15:33 GMT 29 December 2019

Weston Sailing Club on Southampton Water is under new management. New Commodore Jeremy Pilcher made his mark immediately with an impromptu Christmas Cracker Series. Arranged at the last minute to replace the December Cup which had to be cancelled due to storms, Jeremy took on PRO duties himself and was assisted by Nathan Steffenoni as patrol boat driver and photographer.

Despite the late notice there was a decent Contender fleet of 5, supported by a gaggle of other single handers, notably Tony Robertshaw in his new bright green International Canoe, which looks like it could be very fast, but not on this occasion. The forecast F4 turned out to be a rather tame F2.

Three races were held back to back. Usually Weston offers 4 class starts but for this event it as an all-in handicap start.

In race 1 the Contender of Mike Murley-Hughes took an early lead until the mince pies took their toll on a simple tack, causing the over stuffed helm to get stuck under the boom and capsize. Mike did manage to get back into the lead until the final run when Rob Angus ghosted by. Rob definitely needs more mince pies.

For race 2 there was a general recall! Never happens at Weston but maybe this is the discipline we can expect from our new Commodore. In another first, the restart was under black flag. Rob got stuck on the line some how and the rest of us sailed up the shore on starboard. Rob tacked off to port, seeing a new breeze coming in and went from zero to hero, which he held to the end of the race, all be it with the Contender pack very close behind.

In race 3 Rob got in the led from Mike again, but this time his backside moved the leeward mark out of the way as he passed it. Under the new discipline exhibited earlier, Mike felt compelled to let Ron know and he duly did his turn leaving Mike to win the final race.

Overall prizes of chocolates and wine were handed out to Rob, Mike and Nick Curry also in a Contender in third place.

Next up at Weston is the Open Freezer Series which runs from 25 January until the end of March. £50 entry for single-handers, £75 for double-handers. All includes boat storage and 50% discount to the Grand Slam over Easter Weekend. Visit for more details.

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