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GP14 Southern Travellers Series Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp Sailing Club

by Steve Cooper 5 Oct 19:02 BST 2 October 2021
GP14 Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp © Quentin Drain

16 GP14s competed for the 2021 Victor Trophy. The weather never quite delivered the 20 knots plus forecast for the afternoon, but conditions were challenging with the southerly breeze blowing over the trees across the lake.

Three windward marks provided short beats and reaches to get to the East end of the lake with a long reach back. An orderly start for the first race and Cooper & Barrie were first at the windward mark, they managed to shrug off the pursuing pack on the first reach, extending their lead until the finish line. A close battle for second was settled when Szakola and Lucy Street passed two boats with a text book rounding of the final mark.

As the wind failed to fill in, the windward marks sat in mirrored water in the lee of the trees. Many places were gained and lost on the short beats across the lake, tactics and strategy were replaced by hope and prayers as boats attempted to sailed out of the breeze with enough momentum to round the mark and get back to the moving air.

In race two, vying for the lead and powered by some energetic roll tacking Cooper & Barrie, Matyjaszczuk, Lomax arrived on opposite tacks in the dead zone. The fleet floated past both boats as turns were done and valuable momentum was lost. The boats stayed remarkably compact on the downwind leg pushing ever higher as they progressed, stragglers were able to make big gains sailing a lower course. A life-line for Cooper & Barrie allowing them to catch up, then sail back into contention on the beats.

Two early tacks on the final short beat put them onto a lifted starboard stack which translated into a lead when the first and second boats at the leeward mark hardened up and tacked back onto port. The lead was maintained to the finish ahead of pursuers Keith Street and Caro Mitchell.

Lunch was served in the clubhouse.

Another clean start for race three. The increasing wind was accompanied by at times heavy rain that plastered tell tails to sails and hid the track of the gusts on the water. Cooper and Barrie led after lap one then successfully negotiated two of the three testing beats on lap two.

Approaching the final windward mark they encountered a void in the pressure and Tomkins Shahar, Cleal&Drain sailed past. Some good spinnaker work downwind and Cleal & Drain tenaciously hung on for the win with Szakola & Street gaining places to finish second.

Two firsts gave Cooper & Barrie the overall win. Cleal & Drain second with Szakola & Street finishing third overall and winning the Silver fleet. Kashmiri sailors Adheel Khan & Samie won the bronze fleet with an excellent sixth place in the final race.

WHSC were thanked for an excellent event. Special mention to race officer Brian Jefferies and the safety team and to Sarah Lohan and assistants who cooked a fantastic lunch.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stgold14151Stephen CooperLucy BarrieWHSC11‑32
2ndgold14166Maurice ClealQuentin DrainWSC‑6314
3rdsilver13237Tomasz SzakolaLucy StreetWHSC2‑524
4thgold13787Keith StreetCaro MitchellWHSC32‑85
5thsilver13811Sue TomkinsYossi ShaharWHSC4‑1248
6thsilver14265Kate WhyattJohn McGuinnessFrensham SC57‑1612
7thgold13299Jamie IslesMichal SzadyWHSC‑116713
8thgold14121Maciek MatyjaszczukChris LomaxWHSC‑169514
9thbronze13Adeel KhanSamie KayaniWHSC9‑13615
10thsilver4166Sarah StreetPauline den Hartog JagerWHSC‑1241216
11thsilver13980Charlie CotterRoger WaltonWHSC7‑10916
12thsilver3269Sophie BlanchardYasmin HalesWHSC88(DNC)16
13thgold1421Andy WadsworthCathy HowardBrixham YC1011‑1421
14thsilver14044Richard ConnettTom JacksonWHSC13‑141124
15thbronze13887John O'SullivanJoe NounWHSC‑17161026
16thsilver13532Ricardo ChaconJared ChestermanWHSC‑15151328
17thsilver13660Laurence BardRichard GillianWHSC14(DNC)1529

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