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Typhoon 2022 LEADERBOARD

The Exmoor Beastie 2022 sponsored by Exmoor Ales at Wimbleball Sailing Club

by Nick Ryles 8 Apr 06:24 BST 3 April 2022
The Exmoor Beastie 2022 © David Mather

A bright but chilly morning greeted our competitors as they arrived at Wimbleball Sailing Club for the first Beastie since 2020 after the postponement in 2021 because of the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately, Covid did cause a handful of withdrawals late on, which was a great shame for those affected.

The lake was completely still as the duty volunteers arrived to set up, but the hope was for a northerly breeze to fill in across the lake during the morning. The breeze did come as expected but remained light and variable throughout the day.

The Beastie course traditional visits the full length of the lake from Bessom Bridge at the northern end right down towards the dam at the southern end, with a reach into the central spur of the lake on the way to the leeward mark. A long course but it gives competitors beautiful views across the reservoir, from the grassy banks at one end to the steep forested sections nearer the dam.

After mid-morning bacon rolls and refreshments our early starters headed down the slipway and off to the start line. It was good to see a handful of juniors in the entry list. Wimbleball SC has an active junior RYA training scheme and several of them are beginning to develop their racing skills. Our first starter was 11-year-old Lewis Ryles in his first Beastie, skilfully helming a Laser 4.7 across the line on the starting signal!

Lewis was closely followed by Angus Cook from NDYC, and junior crew Philippa Dunbar, in the Firefly, and Val Millward from Rutland in the Challenger. At regular intervals our later starters got their pursuit under way representing 8 different clubs and 12 different classes. This included, among others, Mark Lambdin from Bradford on Avon SC in an Aero 9, junior pairing Leo Muggeridge and Jacob Chambers from Wimbleball in an RS200, two Tasars, historically a very popular class at Wimbleball, and finally a pair of RS400s.

The leader after the first leg was the Firefly from NDYC. Also making good progress towards the windward mark was Martin Moore in a Laser standard rig and a group of K1s including Ben Hawkes representing the RAF Sailing Association and Paul Birbeck, winner of the recent K1 Inland Championships held at the same venue in March. Close on their tail were Jemima Ryles in a Laser Radial and Val Millward in the Challenger.

Several boats took an aggressive line towards mark 5 in the central spur of the lake but ultimately suffered in the lee of the shore, with others taking a slightly a wider line able to stay in the wind. Despite the light conditions, competition remained very keen throughout the whole fleet.

At the leeward mark nearest the dam, and barely visible from the Race Hut, the Firefly was finally caught by the chasing group. The wind dropped for a while and those able to maintain some momentum around the mark took first advantage of the incoming gusts as the wind filled in from the north. At the completion of the first lap Ben Hawkes and Paul Harwood were neck and neck at the front, with the Firefly holding third place. Paul Birbeck and Chris Dyer completed the top 5.

In the final group the RS400s were making steady progress through the fleet but were not able to take full advantage of the spinnaker given the light wind. The RS400 of Figs Cain and Barney Dearsley from Starcross YC, aiming for a podium finish in the overall Sailing Southwest Winter Series, maintained a slight advantage over Dave Stockton and Amy Savage-Bailey from Wimbleball SC.

During the second lap Paul Harwood carried good speed downwind and was able to open a lead on Ben Hawkes. During the reach around mark 5, Ben was able to retake the lead and thereafter it was a nip and tuck battle in the final stages. Chris Dyer and Jeff Vander Borght from Lyme Regis stayed in touch, but Paul Birbeck, who was holding third during the second lap, retired with about 30 minutes to go. Ian Jay from Sutton Bingham had a strong second lap in the K1, moving up several places having been 8th after the first lap.

As the 3-hour mark approached the lead pack had just rounded the leeward mark and the safety boat crews took up position to record the final positions. As the horn sounded it was Ben Hawkes who had managed to take a narrow but decisive lead in a tense finish, with Paul Harwood a very close second. Congratulation to them both for some excellent tactical sailing in tricky conditions. The Hawkes name will be added to the Exmoor Beastie trophy once again, but this time the next generation. A word of thanks must be said for our excellent safety crews who did a top-class job of recording positions across the lake at the finish.

As far as the Sailing Southwest Series was concerned Terry Curtis in the OK dinghy won the series, Figs Cain was 2nd (9th in the Beastie), and Angus Cook was 3rd (7th in the Beastie).

A delicious hot lunch and ample cake awaited our competitors on their return. Many thanks to our shore and galley crew for all their efforts during the day. Thanks also to all our competitors for their efforts to attend and we look forward to seeing you again.

Overall Results:

1st - Ben Hawkes, RAFSA
2nd - Paul Harwood, Wimbleball SC
3rd - Chris Dyer, Wimbleball SC

Top Juniors
Double hander: Leo Muggeridge and Jacob Chambers
Single-hander - Jemima Ryles

PositionSail NoClassHelmCrewClub
192K1Ben Hawkes RAFSA
2169K1Paul Harwood Wimbleball SC
3127K1Chris Dyer Wimbleball SC
453K1Ian Jay Sutton Bingham
5157K1Jeff Vander Borght Lyme Regis
6131K1Gordon Keyworth Wimbleball SC
73695FIREFLYAngus CookPhilippa DunbarNDYC
8145K1Mike Green Wimbleball SC
9411RS 400Figs CainBarney DearslyStarcross YC
101263RS 400David StocktonAmy Savage‑BaileyWimbleball SC
11142K1John Clear Wimbleball SC
12312CHALLENGERVal Millward Rutland Sailing Club and Sailability
1396LASERMartin Moore Lyme Regis
142814TASARAnthony PaineSandy PaineWimbleball SC
153502RS AERO 9Mark Lambdin Bradford on Avon SC
16787RS 200Leo MuggeridgeJacob ChambersWimbleball SC
171174RS AERO 7Andrew Smith Wimbleball SC
18382COMET TRIO (MK I)Steve SharpHelen HardingWimbleball SC
19185306LASER RADIALJemima Ryles Wimbleball SC
20191622LASER RADIALKate Jeffreys Wimbleball SC
21185306LASER 4.7Lewis Ryles Wimbleball SC
24.0 DNF84K1Paul Birbeck Wimbleball SC
24.0 DNF1275TASARJames WebberDaniel WebberWimbleball SC

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