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M&S District Marblehead Championship at Guildford Model Yacht Club

by Roger Stollery 9 May 2022 07:18 BST 7 May 2022
Chris Harris (21) makes the best start during the M&S District Marblehead Championship at Guildford © Gillian Pearson

This event showed Guildford Model Yacht Club's sailing water at Abbey Meads Lake at its best with the wind blowing from the north north-east straight down the lake.

The event had absolutely everything that you might dream of in a radio race: 5-10 mph 'A' rig breeze with plenty of variation in direction and strength, warm and bright when the sun was out, really black clouds with very little rain, a good race team, highly competitive competitors and a top photographer to record the scene.

16 races were sailed on a long windward leeward course and at the first start all the boats were bang on the line showing great competitive spirit. In every race there was tight competition and decisions had to be made whether to go left or right on both beat and run as each bank was favoured depending on how the wind varied. As it varied throughout the day, this made the racing very interesting and as much sailing skill as boat speed.

In Race 1 current national champion Chris Harris showed both of these abilities with his GRUNGE beating Roger Stollery's UP into 2nd and Bob Pearson's STARKERS 2 into 3rd. In Race 2 Martin Crysell sailing his PRIME NUMBER beat both Chris and Roger after a very close race. In Race 3 Wayfarer sailor, Tim Townsend, sailing a ROK joined Chris and Roger on the podium in 3rd place.

For the next 11 races Chris showed his great skill in picking the shifts and was nearly always at the windward mark first. He went on to win them all with good boat speed off the wind, despite being chased hard by the other competitors. Chris was very generous with his advice, helping newcomer to Marblehead sailing, Bob to improve the set and tuning of his sails on his swing rig. This helped to such an extent that he beat Chris in Race 14!

At the prize-giving Chris thanked the race team of Charles Wand-Tetley and Keith Parrott for running a very good event, which he thoroughly enjoyed as he had not sailed his boat since winning the Nationals last year. His only disappointment was that there were so few entries from other local clubs in the district that one might have expected to be at this event. It was their loss, as those that didn't come missed a fantastic day's racing in the best possible conditions at Abbey Meads.

Guildford Model Yacht Club is celebrating the 90th Anniversary of both club and Marblehead class with a special event at the Mermaid Trophy on 28th of May 2022. Many more competitors and spectators are expected to help celebrate, so don't miss out and put this date in your diary.

Overall Results:

1st Chris Harris (Windrush) GRUNGE 13pts
2nd Roger Stollery (Guildford) UP 32pts
3rd Martin Crysell (Guildford) PRIME NUMBER 38pts
4th Tim Townsend (Medway YC) ROK 40pts
5th Bob Pearson (Gosport) STARKERS 48pts

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