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Frostbite racing gets underway at Ripon Sailing Club

by Jennie Clark & Jamie Kerslake 7 Dec 2020 15:33 GMT 6 December 2020
Frostbite racing at Ripon © Jennie Clark

Nestled within North Yorkshire within Tier 2, Ripon Sailing Club re-opened this weekend with members enjoying the first of two weekends of a shortened 'Frostbite' series. Sadly, with some members into Tier 3, there were some regular faces missing from the fleet but even so there were 22 boats on the water making the most of the chance to get out in the fresh air.

The predominately single-handed fleet comprised a mix ranging from an Optimist to a Toy with a good mix of other classes in between and ages ranging from single digits to pensioners. Race Officer Peter Robinson set a course for Race One which gave the competitors, racing in 3 fleets, the chance to sail in the best of the wind and provided enough opportunities for place changing to avoid it becoming processional.

Andy Benn's Phantom took an early lead in the Fast Handicap fleet but he was pursued by the OK's of Bernard Clark and Richard Pryke and in the end it was Clark's OK which took 1st place on handicap. In the Slow fleet Theo McGonigle (Topper) won, whilst the 'Stepping Stones' fleet winner was Oscar Manning (Optimist). This fleet is designed to provide 'new to racing' members of all ages with a shorter race over the same course as the main fleets and is part of an ongoing programme of skills development run by the club, designed to help those who learn to sail at the club to continue their development after their formal RYA scheme training ends.

The races were sailed back to back to minimise shore based contact in line with the club's COVID safety plan, and Race Two followed the same course as race one. The Fast fleet winner was Steve Wright (Supanova), with Chris Hampshire first in the Slow fleet. The second set of races will take place next weekend, and the club once again anticipates a good turnout.

A finalist in the RYA's Club of the Year 2021 competition, Ripon SC sails on water near Knaresborough in the heart of rural North Yorkshire. Based on a former gravel pit, the 70 acres of water provides regular racing including a Frostbite series and an Icicle Series keeping racing on the water right through the winter. Covid permitting the Icicle series will commence in January. More details can be found on the club website and their Facebook page.

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