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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Lightning 368 Rum & Mince Pie Open at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club

by John Butler 15 Nov 08:12 GMT 13 November 2021

The season ending finale of the Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series took place on 13th November at West Oxfordshire SC in what is affectionally known as the "Rum & Mince Pie", and yes, rum & mince pies were on offer!

A record season's turnout of 21 boats hit the water, and a steady force 2-3 breeze with occasional stronger gusts made for enjoyable and entertaining racing.

In the 1st race the Race Officer, Ben Burrows, set a very short and heavily starboard biased line, which made it very competitive close to the pin end in order to gain position. It was Penny Yarwood who got the best of the starting contest, squeezing out Simon Hopkins, and she rounded the top mark ahead, with the 2019 National Champion, Robbie Claridge, back racing after a 2 season lay-off due to major surgery, in 3rd. After the 2nd turning mark Robbie immediately gybed off on port, separating himself from the others and drawing level and passing Penny on the long run down the lake.

At the leeward mark both Robbie & Penny rounded it the wrong way, and after realising their mistake and unwinding themselves, the rest of the fleet descended upon them. Robbie managed to get clear, but Penny was devoured in the melée and then had to commence her fightback from further back in the pack, with local Caroline Hollier inheriting 2nd place. Although Robbie led, Penny worked herself back through the bunch, squeezing past Robbie by the end of lap 2.

On the final round Robbie regained the lead, giving Penny the slip, and pulled out a comfortable lead which he held to the finish. Penny claimed second, and it was Simon Hopkins who eventually popped up in 3rd with Caroline dropping back to 4th.

In Race 2 with the same short & biased line, it got just too competitive with half the fleet over, forcing RO Ben Burrows to post a General Recall, an event so unusual that most Lightning sailors couldn't remember the last time one had occurred on the circuit.

On the restart, with the wind strength having increased a notch, Simon was above Robbie, and was forced onto the pin end buoy and had to do a 720 penalty. Both Penny & Robbie recommenced their personal tacking duel up the first beat, with Jeremy Cooper, Duncan Cheshire and Jason Gallagher also up there in the mix. Robbie caught a timely gust on the first reach, planing into a good lead before the turning mark and then the long run.

This time the pecking order was pretty much maintained for the whole race, Robbie having a clear and unassailable lead, with Penny comfortably ahead of Jeremy, and the fighting Simon recovering to 4th after his initial setback. The surprise package was Ian Ranson, who despite a poor start managed to outpoint everyone around him upwind and almost got Simon at the line.

In the final race it was Simon who won the pin end fight, and rounded the first two turning marks in the lead. On the run, Robbie gybed off to the left side with Simon covering him, but this allowed Penny to sail through both of them at the end of the run by staying on the same gybe. A good tacking duel ensued on the next beat, with Penny in the lead as they rounded the windward mark, but she then proceeded to go for the wrong turning buoy, and by the time she'd realised her mistake Robbie managed to establish an inside overlap at the correct mark and pulled away down the run. Robbie put a loose cover on Penny up the final upwind leg, so it finished Robbie, Penny, then Simon with Jeremy back in 4th ahead of Caroline.

Behind the leaders in the ever competitive Silver Fleet contest there were 2 notable windward "Death Roll" capsizes from firstly John Butler and then Tony Jacks, to much hilarity and banter from the rest of the fleet.

With a number of Juniors competing this time out, it was local James Ball in 16th who picked up the Junior prize, and Ian Ranson won the closely fought Silver Fleet contest.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st427Robbie ClaridgeRoyal Lymington YC‑1112
2nd425Penny YarwoodUp River YC‑2224
3rd428Simon HopkinsUp River YC3‑436
4th410Jeremy CooperShotwick Lake SC‑6347
5th438Caroline HollierWest Oxfordshire SC4‑659
6th417Jason GallagherDenholme SC5‑7611
7th441Ian RansonBolton SC‑95712
8th444Tony JacksBartley SC7‑15916
9th432Chris HillUlley SC10‑11818
10th435Ben TwistBroadstairs SC‑1181119
11th257Duncan CheshireWinsford Flash SC‑1291019
12th226Terry HuntNetley SC813(DNF)21
13th433John ButlerSutton in Ashfield SC1310(DNF)23
14th430Graham LazellUp River YC‑15121224
15th49Mark GoddemWest Oxfordshire SC‑16141327
16th170James BallWest Oxfordshire SC14‑171428
17th407Bryan WestleyChase SC‑20161531
18th321Emily BatersonWest Oxfordshire SC17‑201633
19th250Jan PerrisWest Oxfordshire SC‑21191736
20th67Marion TurberfieldWest Oxfordshire SC‑19181836
21st186Alison CorfieldWest Oxfordshire SC18‑211937

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