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Fireball Gul Golden Dolphin Series at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Colin Snowdon 16 Nov 2021 15:40 GMT 13-14 November 2021

Five local boats and seven visitors including an Irish crew taking their new boat back to Dublin, took to the water on a chilly November morning for the final event in the Gul Golden Dolphin Series. Race officer Jeremy Atkins aided and abetted by Chris Avery planned on having three back to back races on both days using triangle sausage courses.

The first race started promptly and saw the only individual recall of the weekend. The fleet set off in a shifty 10 to 11 knot NE breeze with crews on the wire, the lighter crews having raked their rigs back. Just after the start the wind then shifted right and the skilled lightweight Anthony and James Wilcox pop out in front at the windward mark from where they were able to extend their lead until the finish, followed by Dan Johnson and Ben Latham.

The course was reset for race two and in the building breeze Mike Deane made good use of his not so lightweight crew Paul Disney, to good effect. They led from the start and it wasn't until the final reach that Anthony and James caught up but Mike wasn't going to let them past so it was a close finish, a bullet for Mike and Paul.

Race three saw the Wilcox pairing win again, the fleet spread out in the dropping breeze with few place changes.

The wind forecast for Sunday was looking very light indeed and there was the possibility of no racing being able to taking place. The decision was made to go for a fourth race despite the fading light, dropping breeze and temperatures. This racing was very close all the way round the shortened course with only several seconds separating the first six boats. The Wilcox pairing winning again and the two Richards, Byne and Botting having a great race to take second place.

The crews then gathered ashore in the warmth of the bar for beverages, snacks and sailing banter.

Thankfully Sunday saw more wind than forecast so the race committee would have no difficulty running two races to complete the event. In race five the Irish lads Barry and Connor found a new gear and lead from the start. At the final leeward mark five boats arrived together and Barry and Connor did just enough to keep out front until the finish line. Behind them came Dan and Ben, silver fleeters Russel and Ali, then Anthony and James with a rather despondent Mike and Paul somehow dropping from third to fifth on the final short beat to the line.

Despite their fourth place the Wilcox brothers now had the series won.

Race six was now the race for second place in the gold fleet with two points separating the three contenders. Anthony and James sailed a perfect race to win yet again. Dan and Ben crossing the line to take their third second place of the event, with Russel and Ali third, Mike and Paul fourth. Barry and Connor could only manage sixth place. So rather incredibly three boats finished on fifteen points with Mike and Paul taking second place on count back, Barry and Connor in third place.

Russel and Ali comfortably won the Silver fleet despite Russel not having sailed for six years and tea-bagging Ali in the last race.

Bronze fleet was won by local Draycote sailors Jon Hughes and his very capable young junior crew Robert Byne (chip off the old block dad).

Many thanks to Gul for their sponsorship of Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets with generous vouchers.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGold14928Anthony WillcocksJames WillcocksPYSC1211‑416
2ndGold14778Mike DeanePaul DisneyDraycote312‑55415
3rdGold15114Barry McCartinConor KinsellaRSGYC53331‑615
4thGold15130Daniel JohnsonBen LathamWeston SC2‑6542215
5thSilver14837Russell CormackAli CormackBudworth SC454‑73319
6thSilver15127Rich ByneRichard BottingDraycote‑87726729
7thSilver14844Kath BroatchThomas BroatchPort Dinorwic646‑108529
8thSilver15045Christine SlaterGraham SlaterPYSC & PSC78‑997940
9thBronze14822Jonathan HughesRobert ByneDraycote10‑11869841
10thBronze14681miles thomasSteve DigbyShropshire SC1110(DNC)8101049
11thBronze14994Damian AbbattQuentin HayesDWSC9910‑11111150
12thBronze14622Jane CollisonPatrick CollisonDraycote‑12121112121259

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