Please select your home edition
GJW Direct 2020

Albacore open meeting at Maidenhead Sailing Club

by Mark Fowler 28 Apr 2021 13:30 BST 18 April 2021
Albacore open meeting at Maidenhead © Jenni Heward-Craig

The god of sunlight smiled down on the thirteen competitors - including five visitors - in the first Albacore Open of 2021, recently held at Maidenhead Sailing Club on Sunday, April 18th.

The god of decent wind, however, was off having post-Covid drinkies in a beer garden somewhere far from Maidenhead, which left the sailors with some interesting light wind sailing, and quite a bit of drifting.

Race 1

After a short postponement waiting for it to materialise, what wind there was come from the north; a good direction for Maidenhead according to the locals. Race Office Jon Hirsh and team set a figure-of-eight tight course - so as not to confuse the visitors - and with a lead boat we were off in drifting conditions.

Stuart McAdam/Sarah Mayhew sailing 8211 meant business, getting ahead of the start leader Mike Hamilton/Joe Jones in Who Ate All The Pies (807) at the second mark and never looking back. Barry Wicks/Julie Maidment (8132) from South Cerney - Barry having been a Maidenhead sailor - used his knowledge to lead the rest of the fleet in the challenge to take runners-up spot. David and Rebecca Brown of Whitefriars SC, having swapped their RS400 for the Albacore Association boat You Can Call Me Anytime (8253) took third, while for the rest of the fleet it was a battle round to the finish line.

Race 2

After another postponement for the wind to make up its mind, Race 2 got away on the same course in a lucky-to-be-force-one zephyr-like 'wind'. The sun and the blue water gave a Mediterranean feel to the lake, as we watched a tangled web of Albs criss-crossing the course.

Snake Eyes 8211, McAdam/Mayhew, again took control of the race, showing admirable roll-tacking skills. Team Brown challenged them closely, and sailed into a solid second place. Mark Reddington and Colin Anderson (7426) from Bartley SC, showed admirable consistency, starting and finishing in a well-deserved third, a credible result for this well-known Merlin Rocket pairing.

Race 3

There was excitement after lunch as the god of wind paid a visit. After watching the wind for a while - wind direction being notoriously fickle on Summerleaze Lake - and several changes of course, RO Hirsh reversed the course from the morning's direction.

With wind in the sails and the odd visit to the windward-side deck, Matt Biggs and Mark Fowler -sailing a Kingsfield Marine (6922) - took a commanding lead, which they held to the finish. David and Rebecca Brown took their second second place of the day, with Snake Eyes McAdam/Mayhew bringing 8211 in third.

Young guns Leo Wilkinson and Tom Knight, sailing in their first Albacore Open, had their best result, a fifth place sailing Te Wero Gal (8129).

Race 4

The last race of the day brought more head scratching for Jon Hirsh, as wind strength and direction again became a lottery. The lack of strong wind, however, gave the competitors the chance to enjoy the talking countdown from the committee boat, accompanied by the harmony of all the other watches bleeping.

With light winds, being on the right side of the start line was a challenge not everyone managed, with Biggs/Fowler in Bullitt having their second OCS of the day. Wicks/Maidment made a strong show in this race to take the win, with Biggs/Fowler overcoming their original setback to take runners-up, and third place went to an improving John and Janet Woffinden sailing The Usual Suspects (8213).

With their two pre-lunch firsts, Macadam/Mayhew had first place overall sewn up, but with three teams on 7.0 points, the minor placings all came down to the final race. Wicks/Maidment, having come first in that race, just pipped Biggs/Fowler to second overall. Silver Fleet winners were Wilkinson/Knight, who look like they might be up to the challenge of the Traveller series.

All said, it was a difficult day for Race Officer, Jonathan Hirsh, but... we did get four races in, and the fleet had time to enjoy being back in the Alb after a long lay-off. Thanks to Jon and his crew for all their hard work.

The next event is Bartley SC on Sunday 16th May. The club is well placed at M5 Junction 3 and is expecting a big turn-out for their first Open Event, with five club boats waiting to greet the visitors. There might even be some wind!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Net
18211Snake EyesStuart McAdamSarah MayhewMaidenhead113‑45
28132ALBarry WicksJulie MaidmentSouth Cerney2‑4417
36922BullittMatt BiggsMark FowlerBlithfield4‑5127
48253You Can Call Me AnytimeDavid BrownRebecca BrownWhitefriars322(DNC)7
58213The UsuAL SuspectsJohn WoffindenJanet WoffindenMaidenhead‑1276316
67426 Mark ReddingtonColin AndersonBartley539(DNC)17
78129Te Wero GalLeo WilkinsonTom KnightMaidenhead‑665617
88230Tilly LynneDave WhittleMegan McMorrisWhitefriars‑10108523
97752BillabongBen OsborneJoe TubbMaidenhead89‑11926
107525Blue JayAndy PearceSarah StreetMaidenhead9117(DNC)27
118130Garden LeaveHoward WittDavid YoungMaidenhead11‑1210728
12807Who ate all the piesMichael HamiltonJoe JonesMaidenhead78(DNC)DNC30
135866ALiceJames KearnsGeraint HeadMaidenhead‑131312833

Related Articles

Albacore UK National and European Championships
Tremendous racing in Tremadoc Bay With the planned internationals postponed until 2023 due to Covid travel restrictions, this week long-event reverted to the UK Nationals plus the Europeans both run as separate events on the beautiful sailing waters of Tremadoc Bay. Posted on 26 Aug 2021
Get your Albacore National & Europeans entry in!
The class is excited to be returning to Pwllheli this year The Albacores are excited to be returning to Pwllheli this year for the 2021 Nationals and the 2021 European Championships running from Sat 31st July until Friday 6th August. Posted on 30 Jun 2021
Uffa Fox 2022 Regatta announced
A series of events in Cowes to mark the highly regarded naval architect To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Uffa Fox, one of the most highly regarded naval architects and enthusiast of all aspects of sailing, the Royal London Yacht Club are holding a series of exciting events in Cowes from 18th-21st August 2022. Posted on 27 Apr 2021
Virtually the best place for all things Albacore!
The class are delighted to be part of this weekend's first ever virtual RYA Dinghy Show The Albacore class are delighted to be part of this weekend's first ever virtual RYA Dinghy Show and are excited that anything to do with Albacores can be accessed from the Albacore stand in Hall 1. Posted on 26 Feb 2021
Hot Wood...
Dougal Henshall charts the success of Fairey Marine's moulded dinghies The name of Fairey Marine, and their incredible range of hot moulded wooden dinghies, is central to the growth that marked that golden era of dinghy sailing in the UK. There was nothing like success to help sales. Posted on 13 Nov 2020
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne overall
The sea breeze arrives as predicted on the final day With everything to play for the final day dawned sunny and windless but as predicted at 1pm the sea breeze arrived and the fleet set off for two more races in sunshine and fine winds. Posted on 31 Aug 2019
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne day 4
The battle at the top of the table continues in Nova Scotia The battle at the top of the table continues between Neville Herbert with Mark Fowler and Raines Koby and Stephanie Mah. The difference is now down to just two points. Posted on 29 Aug 2019
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne day 3
A day owned by Neville Herbert and Mark Fowler Day 3 in the delightful Shelburne harbour was undoubtedly owned by Neville Herbert and Mark Fowler. They are sailing the Albacore Association demo boat which they have chartered for the event, their boat having suffered damage at the Nationals. Posted on 28 Aug 2019
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne day 2
Three more races held for the fleet in Nova Scotia The second three race day dawned grey and cloudy but the breeze built and the first two races were windward leeward. Posted on 26 Aug 2019
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne day 1
Delightfully quaint old Nova Scotian town pulls out all the stops The delightfully quaint old Nova Scotian town of Shelburne has pulled out all the stops to welcome the 48 international Albacore teams. On the first day of racing a shifty Easterly wind challenged the sailors. Posted on 26 Aug 2019