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Noble Marine Lightning 368 Travellers' Series at Haversham Sailing Club

by John Butler 9 Sep 2020 13:15 BST 5 September 2020

With a entry of ten boats, the racing was held in conjunction with the Streaker Class Open Meeting, on a beautiful sunny day, but it was a tricky day's sailing for the assembled Lightning 368 sailors in a shifty and gusty north-westerly breeze.

Because of COVID-19, this was the first open meeting of the year for the class, and enthusiastic participants came from as far afield as Essex, Lymington, Chester and Bolton to compete at this small lake near Milton Keynes.

Congratulations to Simon Hopkins who, four years to the day after lifting the Nationals Trophy, had an inspired day and walked away with an overall win, followed by John Claridge and Jeremy Cooper.

Race 1

It was hard to cross the line on starboard, so eventually everyone tacked onto port. Mervyn Berry and John Claridge went right, whilst Caroline Hollier and Alex Berry went left. Jeremy Cooper and Simon Hopkins stayed in the middle to round first and second. On the first broad reach, Caroline and Alex went high and immediately passed Simon, soon to be followed by Mervyn and John Claridge in that order.

For the short tricky beat to the next windward mark the order was rear-ranged again, with Caroline taking the lead from Jeremy who eventually slipped to 5th, allowing Alex to move into second, John to third and Simon fourth for the long run down the lake.

On the beat at the end of the lap the wind got up, with Caroline extending her lead, and Simon moved ahead of John into third. Down the run Alex found out why we don't roll Lightnings to windward with no board down, and took a swim, leaving Simon clear second, and even though he then closed on Caroline, she held on for the win. Jeremy consolidated third place, whilst Alex recovered from his capsize to grab fourth.

Race 2

The same biased line allowed Simon to port tack the fleet and round first ahead of John. John immediately surged past Simon for the lead and these two pulled well clear of the chasing pack. Simon got back past John on the next beat, only for John to get him again on the run. Through various massive shifts and holes in the wind they changed places for the lead at least five times, but it was John who held on to win from Simon by a couple of boat lengths, with Alex third and Jeremy fourth.

Race 3

There was a more conventional line this time, and Simon forced Alex over the line to windward at the pin end on Starboard. The wind stayed steady and Simon rounded first, getting away sufficiently from the chasing pack to never be challenged for the win. Jeremy closed significantly in the fading breeze at the end of the race, with Mervyn a distant 3rd followed by John.

Thanks go the Race Officer Olly Anderson, Chris Hughes, Gillian Thomp-son and the Haversham Team for a thoroughly enjoyable day's racing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st428Simon HopkinsUp River SC‑2213
2nd427John ClaridgeLymington SC‑6134
3rd410Jeremy CooperShotwick Lake SC3‑425
4th438Caroline HollierWOSC15(DNF)6
5th145Alex BerryThe Chase SC43(OCS)7
6th175Mervyn BerryThe Chase SC‑86410
7th441Ian RansonBolton SC5‑8611
8th407Bryan WestleyAldridge SC‑97512
9th433John ButlerSutton in Ashfield SC7‑9714
10th276Marcus PakesHaversham SC‑1010818

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