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Henr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather LEADERBOARD

Waldringfield Sailing Club Cadet and U21 RS200 Open

by Neil Collingridge 27 Oct 06:35 BST 23-24 October 2021

The Waldringfield Cadet Open went back to its traditional timing of October half term this year to accommodate a busy summer of Cadet sailing.

As the clock ran down in the week prior to the event it became increasingly apparent that the powers that be "upstairs" really were on the side of the Cadet Class as the weather forecast looked better and better to sit happily alongside the tide times (which we could plan for) which promised a nice full River Deben. We were delighted to see so many visitors arriving from Frensham Pond and the Class' emerging latest proto-squadron at Rickmansworth - they really turned the weekend into Cadetfest!

Saturday was always going to be the trickier day. A fast flooding tide until 14.00hrs with the prospect of a mid race switch at some point to come. The wind arrived a little late and so we set up in The Rocks for a classic "zig-zag" course (what's known locally as "a Pennman special" for those around for long enough to remember). The first couple of starts were abandoned for lack of wind but we finally got the fleet away in perhaps five and a half knots of breeze. Clear wind off the line, keeping the Cadet dinghies with their little stubby bow transoms moving through the water, long smooth roll tacks and getting into the tidal shelter off the shore of The Rocks were all vitally important - not mush to think about then. We subsequently found we were being filmed so for readers with insomnia click here: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Sg5aLTPChuA you will get the general idea!

In the main fleet the first race went to Mish Collingridge and Rhona Enkel in an extremely tight photo finish of no more than a foot from Fiona Nee and Annabel Shepherd, who squeezed them ever so hard on the short fetch back to the line and so nearly made it, with brother Will Shepherd and Zach Windibank in third.

We had a very encouraging coached regatta fleet entry this year (10 boats; whoopee!) who started with the main fleet and did so well to master the varying wind and tidal conditions thrown at them through the weekend. The variety of race winners shows it was keenly fought throughout but race 1 went to Alex McEwan and Amber Giumali taking a bullet from Dom McCardle and Oliver Ward.

Race 2 saw a little more wind but some big shifts towards the top of the beat such that boats fortunate enough to get a lift on Starboard at Prettymans Point were able to climb onto a significant lee-bow tidal escalator to shoot them up towards the yellow pillar mark on the opposite bank. Whilst not having things all their own way, Mish and Rhona nevertheless prevailed to take their second bullet, this time from Will and Zach with Fiona and Annabel taking third. In the regatta fleet Sam Nee and Audrey Giumali took the win ahead of Alex and Amber.

Race 3 and the tide was on the turn so time for a bit of a windward leeward course variety, this time with what was clearly going to be a long long foul tide run in the fickle 5-8 knots on offer. Mish and Rhona were off again and into a decent length lead until the final windward. If we didn't know him better we might have thought Mish was offering up Amelia Mayhew a birthday present as he wrapped himself round the large pillar buoy and gifted Amelia and Hettie Thorogood a nice bit of breathing space down towards the finish. They went on to take a deserved win and so the sound of 'happy birthday' broke out on one of the support boats as they crossed the line - happily it was a recording not a live rendition from responsible adult, father Geoff. Mish and Rhona were second to put themselves in a commanding position overnight with Fiona and Annabel in third.

In regatta fleet Lulu Mayhew and Meghan McKenna became the third winner in as many races ahead of Henny and Bea Walker - all to play for in that fleet with more breeze forecast for Sunday.

Saturday evening saw adults and sailors go their separate ways to two local houses where the youngsters feasted on pizzas and adults threw all things meaty at a barbecue, which extraordinarily given the time of year, lasted well into the evening even though outdoors.

Onto Sunday and the wind was, as forecast, up although not yet at exciting levels. Race 4 saw some of the closest racing of the weekend - again down in The Rocks and again with tricky foul tide beats to master. Towards the end of the second lap, Will and Zach were just ahead at the start of the final run but they had Amelia and Hettie and Mish and Rhona overlapped on their outside as they approached the final leeward with Ed Fletcher and Alex Enkel also a boat length adrift but right up there in the mix. As they approached the zone, Mish and Rhona snuck ahead just sufficiently to gybe and round the mark less than a boat length ahead of Will and Zach who then initiated a 4 boat tacking duel up the last 200m beat to the finish. Each time they tacked back into the shore for tidal relief they risked parking up on the mud but each time they just seemed to know how far to push it without disaster striking.

At the finish Mish and Rhona just from Will and Zach and Ed and Alex in third... a belter of a Cadet race and really exciting to watch; Waldringfield at its best! Things were similarly hotting up in regatta fleet. There were a few capsizes but in general these younger, less experienced sailors were having a ball and there was plenty of competition there too. Lulu and Meghan snagged their second win again followed in short order by Alex and Amber who, now the discard had come into play, were holding on to the overall lead in regatta fleet.

With the wind continuing to build and the river filling up nicely the race committee decided to up sticks (or anchors) and move the course upriver to the Tips area north of the club. A huge (by Walders standards) triangle-sausage course was fitted in and the sun came out. The wind was nudging up towards 20 knots in the puffs and we were in for some fantastic autumn afternoon racing.

Race 5 had Will and Zach working the shifts most effectively up the beats to take a bullet from Mish and Rhona and Amelia and Hettie, whilst in regatta fleet Lulu and Meghan were revelling in the conditions to make it a hat-trick of wins from Sam and Audrey.

This left Mish and Rhona winning overall with a race to spare but clearly enjoying themselves so no intention of leaving for an early shower. In regatta it was finely poised for the last race with Lulu and Meghan looking for a decent result which would allow them to discard their 8th from the first day. The main fleet once more got off to a clear start - not a single general recall all weekend! Ed and Alex lead around the top with Alex hiking like a badger to stay ahead of sister Rhona giving chase with Mish. Up the second beat Will and Zach, uncovered by the others, sailed through the lot of them to take the lead with Evan Harris and James Vellacott also clearly enjoying the boisterous conditions. Round the final leeward mark there was less than a gnat's wotnot (proboscis!) between the three boats as Mish and Rhona tacked early onto starboard for the finish and then back onto a lifting port tack to see if they could cross the others. With inches in it they couldn't make it, had to go back onto port and so were pipped to the line by both Will and Zach and Evan and James - all three boats crossing the line within 5 seconds of each other. What a cracking finale. Sam and Audrey sailed wonderfully to win the final regatta fleet race from a fast improving Imogen Crossfield and Rosemary Fish but overall Lulu and Meghan had done enough in third place to win the fleet overall from Alex and Amber.

A final word for the one day U21 RS200 open which we run alongside for the Club's recent ex-cadets. With the event taking place after a number had disappeared to University, numbers were down a bit this year but as always they make a great sight in the breeze and are no hassle to have join in the fun. Bea Nee and Libby Bush dominated the fleet, stayed upright and secured 4 race wins off the bat to win overall from Tristan Whittle and Emilia Mayhew and Isobel Stewart and Chloe Morgan all of whom explored some of the deeper parts of the river but looked to be having a ball nevertheless.

So that was it - Waldringfield served up its very best and with Insulate Britain holding off their protests on the M25 until Monday morning lots of sailors and their parents got home safe, happy but exhausted. A big thank-you to Waldringfield SC for hosting the event and the many, many helpers who make these things happen. We will see everyone again for the season finale, the Inlands at Grafham Water SC on 27th-28th November, and for the various regional training programmes taking place throughout this winter - please sign up now if you haven't already done so as it makes organising things so much easier, webcollect.org.uk/cadets

Overall Results:

Cadet Main Fleet

PosFleetBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGoldNo Regrets9877Mish CollingridgeRhona EnkelWaldringfield SC11212(3)7
2ndGoldMay Contain Nuts9994Will ShepherdZachary WindibankFrensham Pond Sailing Club32(6)2119
3rdGoldBoombastic10032Amelia MayhewHettie ThorogoodWaldringfield SC5(6)143619
4thGoldJoint Effort10012Edward FletcherAlexander EnkelWaldringfield SC(7)5435421
5thGoldSpectre10007Evan HarrisJames VellacottWaldringfield SC47(8)64223
6thGoldShe Who Dares9028Fiona NeeAnnabel ShepardFrensham Pond Sailing Club2339(RET)DNC31
7thGoldZest9876Robert StewartDylan McArdleWaldringfield SC8(9)756531
8thSilverMischief & mayhem9964Sophia SfaxiJack DingwellFrensham Pond Sailing Club64(NSC)79834
9thSilverTwocan9985Gwen ThorogoodPrimrose Denny‑PickessWaldringfield SC(DNF)8587735
10thSilverThe Great Escape9962Charlie BaileyJames BaileyWaldringfield SC(12)1010128949
11thSilverAurora10076Amelie WhitehouseMaddy SherwoodFrensham Pond Sailing Club912(NSC)11101052
12thGoldGood Vibes10092Brandon BarkerKali KaraskasStone(11)11910111152
13thSilverWhacky When Wet9378Tom ShepherdHugo FishFrensham Pond Sailing Club1013(NSC)DNSDNCDNC65

Regatta Fleet

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stShe Who Shall Not Be Named9400Elouise MayhewMeghan MckennaWaldringfield SC(8)5111311
2ndDouble Expresso9634Alex McEwanAmber GiumalliFPSC12(NSC)23412
3rdEl Nino9043Samantha NeeAudrey GiumaiFrensham Pond Sailing Club31(NSC)72114
4thWhite Lightening8535Imogen CrossfieldRosemary FishWaldringfield SC43(NSC)44217
5thEnigma10003Oscar BushKemmel ThorogoodWaldringfield SC5443(8)521
6thWild Thing9289Dominik McArdleOliver WardWaldringfield SC29(DNC)55627
7thGreat White9156Hanny WalkerBea WalkerWaldringfield SC782(DNC)DNCDNC39
8thBlue Rose90051Lauren StephensonZoe ThomasRickmansworth(NSC)638RETDNC39
9thSmall Fry8910Andrew StevensonRyan StevensRickmansworth67(NSC)96RET39
10thFast Forward9026Daisy AdamsImogen BushWaldringfield(DNC)DNCDNC67742

RS200 Fleet

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1100Bee NeeLibby BushFrensham pond(1)1113
2ndXTristan WhittleEmelia MayhewWSC(2)2226
3rd1350Isobel StewartChloe MorganWSC(3)3339

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