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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Haversham Sailing Club

by John Butler 28 Sep 06:16 BST 25 September 2021

Held over a weekend when fuel supply hysteria hit the UK, the Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Haversham Open meeting took place on Saturday 25th September at Haversham Lake north of Milton Keynes, with 10 boats contesting the event.

The regular seasoned travellers, and a returning Lightning sailor with a brand new Mk3 boat, joined a single local sailor for a day of light wind sailing but fortunately not a flat calm.

The 9 visitors travelled a cumulative 875 miles to take part, with Ian Ranson from Liverpool and Stephen Hodgson from Leeds driving the furthest.

In the 1st Race there was a contretemps at the start between Simon Hopkins and Jeremy Cooper at the port biased end of the line, with Jeremy on starboard sailing Simon the wrong side of the mark, which allowed Caroline Hollier to get clear away, closely followed by returner Tony Jacks. These two stretched their advantage over the rest, and were never challenged for the rest of the race.

After gybing round and setting off after the leading two, Simon then had to contend with a Port/Starboard clash of masts with John Butler, resulting in John doing a 720 penalty, so 3rd around the mark was Bryan Westley. After a couple more laps Simon eventually recovered to 3rd, holding off a fast closing Jeremy, with Mervyn Berry up there in the mix, whilst Bryan faded back to sixth.

From yet another port biased start line, Race 2 saw Jeremy & Simon leading at the windward mark, but the wind switched off on the 2nd leg, and when the breeze filled in from behind it was Caroline, Bryan and Stephen Hodgson who got past them by the turning mark. Whilst Caroline and Bryan managed to get clear away, the remainder of the fleet closed up to a big gaggle on the run, and it was a bunfight for 3rd place from then on. Jeremy eventually squeezed out from the rest of the pack, but after a storming upwind leg from John he was then challenged again, but held onto 3rd place until the finish, with Tony back in 5th.

In the final race, with Caroline already having won the Open, Jeremy had the bit between his teeth, took the right side on the first beat and got clear away, never to be headed. Popping up from those on the left and centre were Caroline & Simon, and order was maintained until the second upwind leg, when Tony came from last place to progress to 4th, with Bryan working his way past Simon into 3rd but still trailing Caroline. A dogfight in the closing stages saw Tony get the better of Bryan by a couple of seconds at the finish line. Ian Ranson then passed Simon for 5th, again on the final leg.

Caroline Hollier was a deserved and dominant winner, and at the prize-giving particularly thanked all the Haversham volunteers, who expended both their time & precious fuel to facilitate the event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1438Caroline HollierWest Oxfordshire11‑22
2410Jeremy CooperShotwick Lake‑4314
3444Tony JacksBartley SC2‑535
4407Bryan WestleyChase SC‑6246
5428Simon HopkinsUp River3‑769
6112Mervyn BerryChase SC56(DNF)11
7433John ButlerSutton in Ashfield‑84812
8441Ian RansonBolton SC7‑8512
9402Stephen HodgsonDenholme SC‑99716
1047Richard BlytheHaversham SC10(DNC)DNC21

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