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Frensham Cadet Open starts the Winter Championships in style

by David Little 27 Oct 2020 10:00 GMT 25 October 2020

A rainbow over the Surrey Hills welcomed the 15 travellers from Waldringfield, South Cerney and Stone sailing clubs who journeyed to Frensham Pond Sailing Club for the Cadet Open Meeting on Sunday 25 October. They were also welcomed by a partially flooded car park, courtesy of the torrential overnight rain and a blocked river, with local knowledge commenting that the windward mark could now be the clubhouse. Local hero Kevin Marshall removed the offending tree, but at some personal cost - he found out the hard way that the water level was deeper than his boots were high.

As with many clubs and classes, the Cadets at Frensham have adjusted impressively to sailing under new restrictions. Entries, documentation and race briefing were all done online, and worked so seamlessly that many of these innovations are likely to continue long-term. Space in the dinghy park was allocated so boats could be rigged and launched with social distancing intact. And shoreside the Frensham team were able to provide essential refreshments to parents who dotted themselves around the Pond to get different vantage points of the close racing between the 32 boats.

Race Officer Dan Shaw had a job on his hands, with conditions only occasionally reflecting the forecast. The wind swung between South and West South West throughout the day, causing some runs and beats to become a little one-sided for at least part of their length. But this is the nursery of champions, and Frensham has been notorious to visitors for its shifting winds. To help with this, the 8 boats in the Regatta fleet had the excellent Rebecca Videlo as their on-the-water coach, continuing the Cadet tradition of investing in those sailors cutting their teeth in national competitions.

After a well-disciplined start line, in the 24-boat Main Fleet Will Shepherd and Anabel Shepherd (May Contain Nuts 9994) had a great start to Race One and extended it further despite the breeze going soft in the middle of the race, followed by Sam Goult and Rhona Enkel (Aeolus 10002) in second and Bridgitte Nee and Monty Slump (She Who Dares 9028) in third. Gwen Thorogood and Jemima Cox-Oliff (TwoCan 9985) won the Regatta fleet, with Monty Hampton and Tash Davidson (Sullom Voe 71) second and Charles Barrett and Amy Barrett (Top Notch 8853) coming third.

Blue sky returned for the start of Race Two, but frequent clouds brought shifts for the fleet to contend with. Bridgitte and Monty sailed an impeccable race to claim first, with Will and Anabel second and Hannah Carruthers and George Cox-Oliff (Aurora 10076) third. It looked like these three, plus Sam and Rhona, would contest the final podium. In the Regatta Fleet, Monty and Tash secured first, with Dom Rowell and Tommy Hathaway (I'm a Bullett Too 9292) getting an excellent second place and Charles and Amy third.

A short break for lunch on-the-water, and racing resumed. The starts were getting a little more contested, and the X flag made its debut in Race Three when Sam and Rhona found themselves on the wrong side of the line with nowhere to go. But Sam's experience showed as he weaved his way back through the fleet to re-start, and then worked his way back through the fleet to secure second place. But he was unable to catch Will and Anabel, who were on fire, leading the fleet by a leg and a half by the finish - an imperious performance which they were delighted with. Bridgitte and Monty came third, narrowly being pipped by Sam at the line. In the Regatta fleet, Charles and Amy had a great race to finish first, with Tom Shepherd and Jolyon Conway (Whacky When Wet 9378) coming in second and Gwen and Jemima coming in third. Conditions were getting patchy on the pond, and places on the water - and at the finish - were often changing hands by the narrowest of margins. The Committee boat needed eagle eyes to separate several finishers, with the gun often sounding twice within a second.

In Race Four, the main fleet pushed the start line more than ever before, but only one boat was over. By the first mark, Tom Walker and Ned Fairhurst (Bluefin 9367) had a lead and were determined to keep it. But fickle winds saw them overhauled on the last beat, with Sam and Rhona ghosting past them on a private zephyr denied to the rest of the fleet, to cross the line first. Tom and Ned secured second, and Will and Anabel secured third. In the Regatta fleet, Monty and Tish sailed a very strong race (with steadily improving roll-tacks) to finish first, with Tom and Jolyon securing second again, and Gwen and Jemima securing third.

With four races sailed and one discard, Will and Anabel had won the Main Fleet with four points; Sam and Rhona came second with five points; and Bridgitte and Monty third with seven points. In the Regatta Fleet, Monty and Tish came first with four points; Gwen and Jemima came second with seven points; and Charles and Amy third on seven points but losing out on countback through the narrowest of margins.

It was great to have the Cadet family back together for a phenomenally successful event choreographed by Sean and Lorna Nee, the ever hard-working Frensham Squadron captains. The racing was as keen as ever; the only element missing from a usual Cadet event was understandably the social aspect: with prizes but no prize-giving, tea and coffee but no famous Frensham tea, and Al's BBQ remained unlit, it wasn't quite the same. Still, this model of 'bish bash bosh' sailing where you turn up, rig, race and go home delivered for everyone and will hone skills and provide different experiences for our young sailors.

This Open is also the first in the Cadet's new Winter Championships. Next stop is Waldringfield on Friday 30 October, where the locals will be keen to return the favour and show the inland sailors how to race in tide. After that we go to South Cerney on 28 November and Grafham on 6 February. See you there!

Overall Results:

Main Fleet

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R5Pts
19994May Contain NutsWill ShepherdAnabel ShepherdFPSC12134
210002AeolusSam GoultRhona EnkelFPSC / Waldringfield25215
39028She Who DaresBridgitte NeeMonty SlumpFPSC31357
410076AuroraHannah CarruthersGeorge Cox‑OlliffFPSC / Waldringfield534411
59367BluefinTom WalkerNed FairhurstFPSC9414215
69020Whats It CalledJess WatlingLillie BucktonFPSC4951618
79984True ColoursBen GoultAlex McEwanFPSC686920
88533Teen SpiritGeorge LittleZachary WindibankFPSC8616721
910007SpectreToby BushKemmel ThorogoodWaldringfield71071324
109964Mischief & MayhemSophia SfaxiAna HathawayFPSC177111129
1110003EnigmaLibbie BushEmily KrailingWaldringfield121413631
1210012Joint EffortEdward FletcherAlex EnkelWaldringfield1112101031
139302Club boatMax SydenhamTris AhlheidFPSC / HISC102418836
149043El NinoFiona NeeElliott ChapmanFPSC151382036
158854AquiloRyan HarrisSophie MarshallFPSC1415211241
167679Sugar RushMimi SlumpSamantha NeeFPSC221791844
179321Lift OffInés GreenTom KrailingWaldringfield2111151945
188352Master MarinerMegan McMorrisJoshua DavidsonSouth Cerney1619121745
1910032BoombasticAmelia MayhewHettie ThorogoodWaldringfield1320171545
207202ExeceleratorEmilia HamptonJemima McMorrisSouth Cerney2016221450
2110092Good VibesBrandon BarkerKali KaraskasStone Sailing Club1918232259
229454Purple HazeAmelie WhitehouseBo CareyFPSC1821242160
239371Fired UpEthan MillarThomas PontetSouth Cerney2323192365
249400She Who Shall Not Be NamedMayhewOscar BushWaldringfield2422202466

Regatta Fleet

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
271Sullom VoeMonty HamptonTash DavidsonSouth Cerney21414
19985TwoCanGwen ThorogoodsJemima Cox‑OlliffWaldringfield16337
38853Top NotchCharles BarrettAmy BarrettSouth Cerney33167
49378Whacky When WetTom ShepherdJolyon ConwayFPSC47228
59292I’m A Bullet TooDom RowellTommy HathawayFPSC527411
69083ScallywagLiv McMorrisPhoebe MillarSouth Cerney855515
79151TornadoEvan HarrisJames VellacotWaldringfield646716
89768Club boatCharlotte MitchellAva StoddartFPSC788823

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