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2021 M&S District Marblehead Championship GAMES 5 at Abbey Meads Lake, Chertsey

by Roger Stollery 13 May 07:03 BST 8 May 2021

The GAMES 5 racing on 8th May was an absolutely marvellous event at Abbey Meads Lake, Chertsey, organised by Guildford Model Yacht Club. All 10 competitors enjoyed the excitement of coming out of lockdown to sail their Marbleheads again.

This was the first MYA open M event, GAMES 5, as the first four planned events had to be cancelled owing to the restrictions of the pandemic. The wind blew straight down the lake from the south/south south-west and 12 races were sailed around a 120 metre windward/ leeward course in B or C rigs in a 12-23 mph fresh breeze with some vicious gusts building up in the afternoon. It was exciting racing!

The racing was an exciting spectacle with these superb F1 boats pushed hard to full speed with lots rudders showing, broaches and lots of attrition, which slowed the pace of the event; batteries failed, radio gear got wet, rudder shafts bent, cordage failed, rigs came off and one mast broke. RO Roger Stollery waited a reasonable time for repairs to be carried out and for rowing the damaged boats against the strong wind back to the landing stage, so there was plenty of time to chat, with suitable distancing of course.

With four GRUNGEs making up half the fleet, the competition was stiff, but they did not prevail as Peter Stollery, who sailed his UP, appropriately named Upfront, in a C swing rig all day, came good in the stronger winds with some amazing downwind performances to become M&S Marblehead District Champion with a two-point lead over fellow Guildford member, Rob Vice sailing his son's GRUNGE.

MYA chairman Phil Holliday took the first race from Tony Edwards and Peter Stollery, whilst in Race 2 Rob Vice won with Martin Crysell 2nd and Mark Robinson, still learning to sail his GRUNGE well, improved from a slow start to take Race 3. In the next 3 races Rob Vice was always in the top 3 and won both Races 4 and 6, only being interrupted by Peter winning Race 5. At this time there were several DNFs as a result of collisions and gear failure.

The lunchtime leaderboard showed Rob at the top with 14 points closely followed by Peter with 16 and Tony with 23 points.

Mark Robinson came back to win Race 7, from Peter and Martin, sailing a PRIME NUMBER. The wind had backed to south south-west making it even more important to be on the right shifts with the wind coming more off the side and being in the right rig to withstand the vicious gusts off the wind. Peter, who had been in C rig all day, was not suffering from being over pressed and was going really quickly in both directions. However, having built up a big lead in Race 8, his enthusiasm took him past the finishing line without crossing it and by the time he returned to finish he was 5th, letting Phil win with Rob 2nd and Mark 3rd. He made no mistakes in the next 3 races to cross the finishing line 1st, with amazing speed on the offwind legs powered by his offset pivot swing rigs. The final race result was similar to Race 1 with Phil winning from the very consistent Rob in 2nd place.

Mention must be made of 11-year-old Oliver Stollery, who had never sailed his granddad's UP before and never in such strong conditions. He quickly learnt a great deal, with 4th as his best result and whilst he did not beat his dad in a race, on many occasions he had him in his wake.

Whilst there was no entry fee and just a pot for donations, the club retained its reputation for giving good prizes, with four books connected with sailing. The prizewinners, who just collected their prizes from the race table, thanked the 'district' race team for putting on such a good event.

In particular many thanks go to ARO Keith Parrott, from Frensham Radio Sailing for keeping the racing going and recording the scores!

Overall Results:

1st Peter Stollery (Guildford) UP 20pts
2nd Rob Vice (Guildford) GRUNGE 22pts
3rd Mark Robinson (Eastleigh) GRUNGE 31pts
4th Phil Holliday (Datchet) GRUNGE 35pts
5th Tony Edwards (Yeoville) GRUNGE 37pts
6th Martin Crysell (Guildford) PRIME NUMBER 52.8pts
7th Oliver Stollery (Guildford) UP 63pts
8th Peter Jackson (Hollowell) UP 74pts
9th David Coode (Guildford) PIRANHA 91pts
10th Michael Thomas (Eastleigh) STARK 94pts

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