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Solo Northern Circuit Open at Ogston Sailing Club

by Martin Honnor 15 Jun 2021 10:18 BST 12 June 2021

Seventeen visitors from ten clubs in the North and Midland areas joined eight Ogston sailors for the Ogston Solo Open held on Saturday 12th June.

The forecast was for a light north-westerly breeze and plenty of sunshine and record temperatures, at the 4th event on the Northern circuit, and Ogston did not disappoint. PRO Philip Wilson, and daughter Amy, welcomed the competitors at a 10:30am distanced briefing in the dinghy park where the temperature was already in the high teens. With the wind in one of the most fickle directions for Ogston, Philip decided to run a morning race in the north part of the reservoir with a good long beat followed by a number of reaches and a run to the bottom mark before turning north for lap 2.

The lower part of the beat was a little one-sided which made for some interesting decisions, whether to stay left in the shadow of the trees or up the middle, the latter normally the better option. The second half of the beat proved to be the part of the course where the race was going to be won or lost and places changed regularly on every lap. On the first lap, Ian Hopwood rounded first closely followed by Chris Brown, Steve Denison and local Martin Honnor and it was these 4 boats that fought for the top positions throughout with each of the 4 having a go at the lead. The first race was finally won by Ian, Martin second closely followed by Chris.

With the temperature still rising, the fleet came in for a lunch break to take on some liquid and apply some more sun protection.

For the two afternoon races, PRO Philip decided the races would be back-to-back and would be on the southwest part of the reservoir and with the wind direction backing slightly meant the course would have to be set with 2 beats across the water, making for an interesting first beat. Surprisingly, the start got away without any OCSs, and after the short beat to the first mark, saw Andy Ritchie get round first, a position he would only extend throughout the race.

The next group rounding included the usual culprits followed by what looked like the rest of the entire fleet wanting to come round together, not a surprise though with such a short first beat. Race 2 was easily won by Andy Ritchie, Martin taking a second 2nd and Chris getting a second 3rd, which meant with Ian having a 1,4 and Andy on a 5,1, going in to Race 3 it was all to play for with any one of 4 having a chance to take the event.

With the breeze dropping and changing direction, PRO Philip again had the difficult task of setting a good first beat, which after some deliberation looked like he had been successful. The line was set with a port pin bias and soon there was a gathering like bees round a honey pot at the port end. At the gun Chris was OCS and Martin made a disastrous start leaving both Ian and Andy the chance to get clear of the fleet and have their battle, or so it was thought. Halfway up the beat the wind dropped and places chanced multiple times, sometimes with those that had gone right smelling of roses to the gamblers who went left sneaking in.

It was Ian who came good and got round first again and never looked back. As the next group rounded, Lady Fickle Wind played her Ace and served up a 360 degrees swing in the wind, leaving the rest of the fleet on a beat, run and reach all at the same. As the direction settled back to the original WNW that had been seen at the beginning of the day a group broke away, including newcomer to the Solo, Adam Froggatt, together with Alan Bishop and Andy Ritchie, these 3 would have a close fought battle the entire race. A little further back Martin and Winder Solo builder Steve Denison (other builders are available!) were having their own little tussle and this is how the positions looked to be finishing until the last mark.

Ian was round and well on his way to a deserved victory while the pack of three, Steve D and Martin parked up just before the mark, just as Lady Fickle played her 'ace up the sleeve' and brought Andy Bayliss and Nigel Davies into the mix on a lovely little gust, putting all 7 boats within touching distance and creating a new mini race starting at the leeward mark. It would be Andy Ritchie claiming the 2nd closely followed by Alan Bishop and Andy Bayliss for 3rd and 4th resulting in the overall top 3 for the event of Ian Hopwood from Nantwich SC, Andy Ritchie from Hykeham SC and Martin Honnor from Ogston SC.

The day was nicely finished off with Pizza and muffins washed down with a cool beverage of choice...

The next events on the Northern Circuit will be Hollingworth on the 27th June followed by a Midland/Northern joint event on 31st July at Carsington SC.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5897Ian HopwoodNantwich SC1‑412
2nd5369Andy RitchieHykeham SC‑5123
3rd5880Martin HonnorOgston SC22‑64
4th5918Chris BrownGrafham SC33(DNC)6
5th5723Alan BishopGirton SC‑9639
6th5421Andy BaylissHykeham SC7‑8411
7th5887Steve DenisonRYA4‑9711
8th5911NigelDraycote8‑11513
9th5741Stephen GrahamBurwain SC115(DNC)16
10th5837Richard InstoneChase SC6‑131117
11th4529Adam FroggattChase SC107(DNF)17
12th5842John WebsterCarsington SC‑1712820
13th529Nick HornsbyHollingsworth Lake SC1210(DNC)22
14th5825Martin BrennanHollingsworth Lake SC13‑171023
15th4528Simon LawOgston SC‑16141428
16th5645Phil HonnorStaunton Harold SC(DNC)20929
17th5534Jonathan WardOgston SC‑18161329
18th5649Steven BishopGirton SC1415(DNC)29
19th5037Alister ReynardCarsington SC‑19181230
20th5286Philip ProctorChester SC‑21191534
21st5529Garry KnottOgston SC15(DNF)DNC41
22nd5565Colin CoombsOgston SC2221(DNC)43
23rd5081John MellorsOgston SC20(DNF)DNC46
24th4478Rod SinclairOgston SC23(DNC)DNC49
25th5006Martin BradleyOgston SC(DNF)DNCDNC52

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