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Typhoon 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Sir Charles Barratt Pursuit Race at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Jeremy Atkins 2 Jun 06:03 BST 31 May 2021
Greg Irish wins the Sir Charles Barratt Pursuit Race © Dave Rowe

The third event in this year's Draycote Water Sailing Club's Pursuit Race series had the potential to be a bit different. The wind was somewhat more subdued than the gale-swept first two races.

The hot shot youth were away, competing at Hayling (including 2019/20 series winner, and now Feva National Champion, Millie Irish) or training at Weymouth and Notts County; the last event winner, Jeremy Davy, had wrapped his Flying Fifteen in bubble wrap in preparation for next weekend's Southern Championships and the current series leader's Sprint 15 was never going to work with the light winds. Someone else had a chance...

But then you looked at the entries and perhaps it was going to be no different. Jeremy Davy (2016/17 series winner) had swopped his Flying Fifteen for his Miracle. Jess Lavery (2020/21 series winner) had swopped her 420 for a Fireball and evergreen 2018/19 series winner, Greg Irish, was back in his Laser. Also, for the first time, since the initial lockdown, we were, once again, welcoming visitors to the series and Nigel & Diane Pepperdine from Staunton Harrold SC were to be found knocking at the club gates early that morning.

The hoped for more stable winds did not materialise and Oscar Rowe set off at datum as the only Topper, competing in his first ever pursuit race. He had a difficult first beat with little wind and no other boats to offer guidance, but he rounded the windward mark first, with Jeremy & Kitty Davy not far behind, closely followed by Mike Furner and Jeremy Atkins in their Solos.

These three passed Oscar on a slow reach, but Oscar's enthusiasm was still evident - he told your scribe that even though his third place had now been taken, he was still the first Youth & Junior!

A tricky second beat saw the Davys take the lead followed by Jeremy Atkins, with Mike Furner third and a rapid Greg Irish in his Laser fourth. These places were maintained in a series of downwind legs which took the fleet the whole length of the lake.

It went really light for the battle back upwind: 3 beats connected by two reaches. On the first beat the leading group made their choices - the Davys went inshore, Mike Furner went offshore and Greg Irish took the middle route. Who would come out on top? In the end it was Greg Irish, closely followed by Mike Furner with the Davys losing out inshore, followed by Jeremy Atkins. But these four were not all having it their own way. Nigel and Diane Pepperdine, in their RS200, were slowly catching up. On the second beat, Greg and Mike seemed well clear, the Pepperdines overtook Atkins and the Davys decided to go offshore this time and promptly lost the wind.

The 100 minutes were drawing to a close. Greg Irish completed the reach and was just started on the next beat when the time was up. Mike Furner, in the performance of his life, just managed to hold off the Pepperdines. Rear Commodore Sail, Norman Byrd, in his Phantom, managed to split Atkins and the Davys.

And again, for the first time since the initial lockdown, we held a prize-giving with Club Commodore, Jeremy Atkins, handing out the spoils to the top three.

Overall Results: (top six)

1st: Greg Irish, Laser
2nd: Mike Furner, Solo
3rd: Nigel & Diane Pepperdine, RS200
4th: Jeremy Atkins, Solo
5th: Norman Byrd, Phantom
6th: Jeremy & Kitty Davy, Miracle

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