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GP14 Venetian Trophy at Welsh Harp Sailing Club

by Tomasz Szakola 6 Apr 2022 19:34 BST 2 April 2022
GP Venetian Trophy at Welsh Harp © Luke Howard

Twenty-one boats entered the Venetian Trophy at the Welsh Harp Sailing Club, the first open meeting of the 2022 season for the Southern Travellers. The event was sponsored by the Welsh Harp Boat Centre and what the day it has been. Various sailing conditions with winds oscillating between 4 and 20 knots, changing like in a kaleidoscope. We had sun, clouds, rain and massive squall with snow falling for 10 minutes. The conditions tested every sailor's skills to the maximum.

North East wind proved difficult to set up the start line and the first race started with a pin bias line and a long beat to the windward mark. Mark Wolf and Alan Renaud nailed the start and arrived first at the windward mark. From there they didn't look back and led the whole race to the finish line. Steve Cooper and Lucy Barrie capitalised and came second while Nick Craig and Mark Oakley got stuck in traffic at the pin end and had to satisfy themselves with the third spot.

Second race, after the first general recall, sees the race officers hoisting the black flag to fend off the early birds. Another port biased line but with much more wind pressure by the committee boat made it difficult to decide where to start, and once more decided Nick's and Mark's result. They again had to accept the dominance of Mark and Alan, who led yet again from start to finish. The battle for the third place in this race proved very interesting and very close. Chris Lomax and Caro Mitchell, fended off challenges from the boats behind and secured third place. This race was so close that the next 4 boats came within 10 seconds after the Chris's and Caro's boat.

After great lunch, the competitors presented themselves for race 3. The wind eased a bit and finding it became crucial. Nick and Mark regrouped after the first two race defeats and arrived at the windward mark first. From then on nobody could stop them and they won in dominating fashion. Mark and Alain had to satisfy themselves with the second place, which put their overall victory in question. Once again the battle for the third place proved fascinating with Maciej and Szymon Matyjaszczuk leading the chase pack before the last run. They have decided to sail high and this proved unlucky. Half way down the lake, they lost the wind and were overtaken by three boats. Staying low on this run benefited Morris Cleal and Romek Kowalewski, who had to fight hard to bring home third place ahead of Steve and Lucy.

Fourth race was to decide the winner since Nick and Mark had to win to become champions but Mark and Alan needed to finish ahead of them to prevent that from happening and claiming the trophy themselves. The start took place in a very gentle breeze and both boats were very shortly engaged in the most fascinating race close to team racing with lots of tacks and gybes in order to secure the better position on the course. Mark and Alain led for the first half of the race, with Nick and Mark's persistence being rewarded when they emerged in the lead after a short period of very chaotic wind close to the leeward mark. As both teams had collected 4 points the regatta was decided on the last race rule. Fighting for the 3rd place overall, Steve and Lucy survived the last lap squall and snow and the pressure from Maurice and Romek and crossed the line in 3rd place, securing the podium place.

Overall Results:

Gold Fleet
1st - Nick Craig and Mark Oakley
2nd - Mark Wolf and Alan Renaud
3rd - Steve Cooper and Lucy Barrie

Silver Fleet
1st - Tomasz Szakola and Lucy Street
2nd - Chris Lomax and Caro Mitchell
3rd - Maciek and Szymon Matyjaszczuk

Bronze Fleet
1st - Charlie Cotter and Roger Walton
2nd - George Rogers and Nick Lynn
3rd - John O'Sullivan and Joe Noun

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stgold14185Nick CraigMark OakeyFrensham Ponds SC‑32114
2ndgold1413Mark WolfAlain RenaudWelsh Harp SC11‑224
3rdgold14110Steve CooperLucy BarrieWelsh Harp SC2‑8439
4thgold14166Maurice ClealRomek KowalewskiWembley SC‑553412
5thsilver13237Tomasz SzakolaLucy StreetWelsh Harp SC6‑75516
6thgold14234David InnesSteve BrowneFrensham Ponds SC‑847718
7thsilver13713Chris LomaxCaro MitchellWelsh Harp SC(RET)38920
8thsilver14121Maciej MatyjaszczukSzymon MatyjaszczukWelsh Harp SC4106(DSQ)20
9thsilver13316James WardRichard WhitehillPapercourt SC9611‑1226
10thsilver14149Tony PerkinsSilas CaieFrensham Ponds SC‑1699826
11thsilver13679Martin HimePaula SheehanWelsh Harp SC711‑141028
12thsilver13787Keith StreetDenise ValeWelsh Harp SC‑141310629
13thsilver13299Jamie IslesMichal SzadyWelsh Harp SC12‑16131136
14thbronze13980Charlie CotterRoger WaltonWelsh Harp SC11(DSQ)121336
15thsilver14175James StaffordPatrick ErwinPoole YC101216(RET)38
16thbronze13958George RogersNick LynnTollesbury SC‑1514151443
17thbronze13887John O'SullivanJoe NounWelsh Harp SC17‑18171549
18thsilver14131Jim DimondLiz GuestWelsh Harp SC1315(DNC)DNC50
19thbronze4Nat SpurlingYasmin HalesWelsh Harp SC1917(RET)1753
20thbronze13696Maurice FutermanMuffin GreenWelsh Harp SC18‑19181854
21stbronze13594Roger JeffsEmily TowersWelsh Harp SC20(DSQ)191655

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