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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Lightning 368 Northern Championships at Denholme Sailing Club

by Simon Hopkins 18 Jun 10:37 BST
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Northern Championships at Denholme © Jonathan Durrans

Following the National Championships in Derbyshire the 2021 Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series, moved slightly further North to God's County for the Northern Championships at the picturesque Denholme SC. With three-time winner Penny Yarwood absent there would be a new name on the trophy this year. Any thoughts the wind might be the steady 15mph from the west were soon forgotten on the first beat of race one and that was to be the theme of the day.

Race one got under way at the top of the lake and was a proper sitting out beat up the lake towards the Dam wall (but that's north not west?). Simon took full advantage and pulled away until he approached Death Valley and the wind remembered it was a westerly! This favoured the chasing pack who freed off and sailed into the mark leaving Simon slightly dismayed.

It was Caroline Hollier and Ian Ransom who pulled clear, leaving Simon, Jason Gallagher and Jeremy Cooper playing bumper cars at the first mark. After Simon and Jeremy did their penalty turns Jason set off in pursuit of Caroline and Ian. The pack soon closed up and whilst negotiation mark 7 up death valley Simon and Jeremey decided to hit each other again and Jason sailed round everyone for the lead. Jeremy politely did turns and Simon whilst discussing the validity of the claim proceed to run into the back of Caroline: more penalties!

On the last leg everyone was back together again and from right to left it was Jason, Jeremy, Simon and Caroline all aligned drifting up the lake wondering which direction the wind would come from and it was from the right so the they finished in that order.

At a fantastic lunch provided by Diane Hodgson, eaten in the sun overlooking the beautiful scenery we all decided that there had been a years' worth of penalty turns in that race and we needed to all play nicely that afternoon.

Race 2 and the wind tried to fool us again that it was a northerly at the start, but the fleet was prepared for its mischief this time and (most) of us were ready the massive wind shift when it came. Up the first beat it was Simon and Jeremy and they led into Death Valley, but as usual things changed up there and it was Jason and Caroline who led out!

On the second beat a savage vertical wind bomb caused Caroline to jump out of her boat. Why she did this we don't know still (neither does she) but she was then out of contention. Jason then led Simon up into Death Valley a second time and got caught in the patchy wind which left Jeremy who stayed by the bank to sail around both of them. By the last lap these three were very close but Jeremy held on for the win and Simon sneaked ahead of Jason on the line for second.

Race 3 was a reduced fleet as Caroline decided she had swum enough for today and whoever won from Jason, Jeremy or Simon would be the new Northern Champion. With exactly 5 seconds to go the wind switched off where the majority of the fleet was gathering to start by the bank. Jeremy who was going for the port tack flyer however kept the wind and was off up the lake never to be seen again.

Jason and Ian were the first to escape the windless zone and set off for their unsuccessful pursuit of Jeremy. This race was much more processional, with the only excitement being Simon working his way back from the poor start to pass first Ian, then Jason, who kindly waited for a good 5 min in a windless hole up Death Valley, whilst Simon caught and passed him.

A late charge on the last run by Jason saw him try to go to windward of Simon, but a luff by Simon saw Jason (who had his centreboard fully up) drift down and hit Simon. Well what's another penalty between friends!

The final result with 2 points saw Jeremy take the meeting and the New Northern Champion with a good consistent score line of 2,1,1. Jason (1,3,3) and Simon (3,2,2) were tied on 4 points. Second place going to Jason on account of his win in race 1. All concerned had a fun day but there were many aching legs and much conversation afterwards about the use of tonic water as an aid for cramp. Without gin of course!

After three meetings in the North the Noble Marine Travellers Trophy now moves far south to the Sea Championships as part of the Lymington Regatta over the weekend of 3-4th July. Our yearly outing on the lumpy stuff and a chance to stretch one's legs I hope!

Overall Results:

1st 410 Jeremy Cooper - Shotwick SC
2nd 417 Jason Gallagher - Denholme SC
3rd 428 Simon Hopkins - Up River YC
4th 441 Ian Ransom - Bolton SC
5th 407 Stephen Hodgson - Denholme SC
6th 438 Caroline Hollier - WOSC

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