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GP14 Southern Travellers at Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club

by David Innes 12 Jul 18:56 BST 10 July 2021

With hope and optimism triumphing over a horribly light wind forecast twelve GP14 sailors travelled to Leigh-on-Sea in Essex to be met by the normal excellent hospitality with bacon rolls and stunning views over the Thames Estuary.

The club occupies a wonderful situation in the old railway station in Old Leigh sandwiched between the main railway line and the esplanade with launching from a charming beach adjacent to Bell Wharf. With only about 5 knots wind from the east Race Officer Colin Walker set a short trapezoidal course in the shallows over the Chapman Sands with the last of the flood tide still running. The fleet crept over the line for the first race with Innes/McGuinness starting at the pin end and heading inshore leading from Szakola and Cotter and Isles/Szady. Benefitting from a big left shift Innes/McGuinness led at the first mark and maintained this to the finish despite some confusion on the course.

With the wind dropping to zephyr status, the Race Officer got the fleet away for a second race at slack water with Isles/Szady and Innes/Mcguinness getting away cleanly to the first mark avoiding a minor pile up on the pin end of the short line. Cooper/Lomax managed to escape the carnage and come into the windward mark a close third with the leading three boats optimistically then setting spinnaker for the first reach. The wind completely died briefly and then "filled in" from the west with Innes/Mcguinness leading from Isles/Szady and Cooper/Lomax at the first hitch mark. As the leaders slowly crept down what should have been a run but was a very fine reach it was clear that the ebb tide was beginning to kick in. Only Innes/Mcguinness and Cooper/Lomax managed to get around the hitch mark and headed for the final mark as the Race Officer decided that the wind gods were not playing ball and shortened the race and shortly thereafter abandoned proceedings for the day.

At the prize-giving Colin walker and all at Leigh-on-Sea SC were thanked for making the best of very trying conditions and all competitors were thanked for making the effort to attend. Proceedings finished with the traditional Leigh on Sea BBQ on the balcony as the tide and of course, a breeze, set in from the south. The Southern Travellers next visit the Poole Yacht Club on the 14/15th August where better winds are hoped for!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClub
1st14234David InnesJohn McGuinnessFrensham Pond
2nd14151Stephen CooperChris LomaxWelsh Harp
3rd13237Tomasz SzakolaCharlie CotterWelsh Harp
4th13299Jamie IslesMichal SzadyWelsh Harp
5th13939George RogersNick LynnTollesbury
6th14179Steve CorbetMartin FischerLeigh on Sea

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