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Albacore Inland Championship at Bartley Sailing Club

by Mark Reddington 4 May 2022 23:39 BST 1-2 May 2022
2022 Albacore Inland Championship © Debbie Degge

Bartley Sailing Club hosted the 2022 Albacore Inland Championship in the south of Birmingham. The forecast for the weekend was not looking good all week so when the teams arrived at the club they were greeted with a reasonable breeze across the whole lake. During the day the breeze however proved to be fickle and varied from 5 to 12 knots primarily SSE but flicking through 25 degrees with unpredictable regularity.

The OOD Howard Eeles and his team did a sterling job setting start lines and courses that gave the sailors good opportunity to test their skills.

Race one set off after a general recall at the first attempt. A beat the length of the reservoir lead to a run back down to the middle of the lake and the 2 lead boats were to experience the first of the snakes that the wind had to offer when they were caught in an area of very little breeze and the chasing fleet rapidly catching and sailing past on new wind.

Matt Biggs and Mark Fowler had wriggled their way into the lead and sailed on to win the race followed in second by Judy and Paul Armstrong winners of nine previous inlands having recovered from being one of the boats previously passed. They were followed across the line by a hard charging Tim Coleman crewed by Jo Sankey who were one of the boats that had benefited from the early vagaries of the wind and then sailed well to finish in third.

A fast turn-around by Howard and his team meant we were in to race 2 with no delay. Josh Oates crewed by his father Chris had a storming first beat and lead around the top mark. Chris bought his Albacore with a friend three weeks ago after just finishing an RYA level 2 sailing course and for this event got Josh, normally a Laser sailor, to helm. However they were passed by some of the fleet but still finished a creditable eighth.

Meanwhile the battle was on at the front with Judy and Paul taking the win and two different boats taking the other podium positions. Jonathon Dellow and Simon Medd had a really good beat halfway through the race relegating Mark Reddington and Colin Anderson to third after an intense battle with Matt and Mark.

Race three and a masterclass in Albacore sailing from Jeremy Shinton crewed by Harry Ashworth not just winning but destroying the fleet to win by the largest margin of the day! Behind them was the ever present Judy and Paul and Tim and Jo again sailing a great race to make third.

Race four and the race team had to spring into action when a wind shift during the start sequence lead to an aborted start and a reset of start line and course. The wind however still had other ideas which meant another reset of both. Finally we were off on a shorter course with less mark but no less exciting.

The fleet were locked together again with racing all down the fleet and lots of place changing. It was Judy and Paul who managed to sail away and take their second win of the day and Matt and Mark keeping them honest all the way through. Jonathon showed his boat speed off for a second time and took a deserved third place.

That was it for the event as sadly Sunday morning fully lived up to the forecast predictions and no racing happened. This meant that Judy and Paul earnt their tenth Inlands title a remarkable achievement given the depth of talent in the fleet. Congratulations to Matt and Mark in second and Tim and Jo in third.

There was an award for the oldest boat which went to Steve Bailey and Jeremy Wallace in 6504 and a newcomers award to Les Druyf and Richard Baker who abandoned their Lasers to sail the class association boat.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stJudy ARMSTRONGPaul ARMSTRONG8228Scaling Dam SC21216
2ndMatt BIGGSMark FOWLER8192Bartley SC146213
3rdTim COLEMANJo SANKEY8254Leigh and Lowton SC363416
4thJeremy SHINTONHarry ASHWORTH8158Bartley SC4511121
5thJonathon DELLOWSimon MEDD6918Weston SC1225322
6thMark REDDINGTONColin ANDERSON7426Bartley SC737522
7thPhil SMITHSteve CARR8152West Kirby SC874726
8thLes DRUYFRichard BAKER8253Bartley SC6912835
9thMatt THOMPSONHeather THOMPSON8255Tewksbury SC510111238
10thIan CLARKETom KENWORTH819Bartley SC101410640
11thAlex WALTONBethan EVANS7921Chase SC91381040
12thSteve BAILEYJeremy WALLACE6504The Nottingham SC11119940
13thJosh OATESChris OATES7992Bartley SC13813DNC49
14thPhil SHEPPARDKirsten SHEPPARD8189The Nottingham SC1412141353

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