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Kestrel Open at Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club

by Chris Grice 18 May 17:58 BST 14-15 May 2022
Howie and Danni during the Maylandsea Bay Kestrel Open © Paul Barnett

Fourteen sailors gathered for the first of the two Maylandsea Bay Kestrel opens for 2022, held on 14th/15th May. Long range forecasts had been excellent, but as so often happens in Blighty, by the time of the event, Saturday looked like being a no wind day and the sunshine was going to be missing on Sunday.

As it happened, staying within the creek, Race Officer Bill and his team were able to get two decent races in on Saturday, albeit in shifty, often very light conditions. Whilst difficult for the Race team, it was far more so for the crews, as they struggled to find and stay in the bits of wind that came through the course, whilst negotiating the numerous tidal gates.

In Race 1, the wind disappeared just as the fleet left the line, so they drifted with the tide up the course, until enough patchy bits of wind gave proper propulsion. Glen Enkel and Julie Batchelor took up the running and lead all the way around, pursued by Chris Grice and Kenny Hobbs and Howie Enkel and Danni Tebbutt. At the penultimate mark, the wind died for Glen/Julie and Chris/Kenny carried enough momentum from a previous gust to slip by them and take the win. Howie/Danni finished third.

In Race 2, on a similar course, but now with the tide at full and ebbing later in the race there were some different challenges. Howie/Danni were followed by Chris/Kenny, pursued by Paul Gray and Karin Grice. The gap opened and closed several times between these three boats as they negotiated the course and gapped the fleet, but on the last beat short tacking up the shore against the tide the wind abandoned them, wafting the rest of the fleet straight towards the line without needing to tack. Howie/Danni just managed to scrape over the line in front of Glen/Julie with Dave Gibson/Chris Harris taking third from Chris/Kenny right on the line.

After an excellent quiz followed by a rather heavy Saturday night for much of the fleet, Sunday dawned overcast but with 10-12 knots of breeze, now coming from the East. Howie/Danni took the lead early in Race 3 and although Paul/Sally, Dean Saxton with Mark Harman and Chris/Kenny were following them around they never got close enough to really challenge, especially as a wind shift eliminated the beat from the course. At the finish it was Howie/Danni, Paul/Sally and Chris/Kenny in the first three spots.

Howie/Danni had not quite clinched the overall before Race 4, as in theory it was still possible for Chris/Kenny to win overall. The race got under way with a long beat out to Stansgate. Paul/Sally picked the right hand side of the beat and popped around the windward mark first ahead of Chris/Kenny, Dean/Mark and Howie/Danni. A close race ensued with Paul/Sally holding on right down to the last mark in the creek, at which point the wind died to a zephyr and Chris/Kenny and Howie/Danni slipped by short tacking up the creek. They finished in that order, except for the absence of a hoot indicating that Chris/Kenny had been over the line at the start.

So a deserved overall win for Howie and Danni. More, intense, open Kestrel sailing due at MBSC at Maylandsea Week from 25th July and the Eastern Areas on 8th/9th October.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1574Howard EnkelDanni TebbuttMBSC‑31113
2nd1587Glen EnkelJulia BatchelorMBSC22‑737
3rd1472Chjris GriceKenny HobbsMBSC143(OCS)8
4th1600Paul GrayKarin Grice/Sall GrayMBSC5‑6229
5th1612Dave GibsonChris Harris/Peter gibsonMBSC‑735412
6th1593Dean SaxtonMark HarmanMBSC4(DNF)4DNF16
7th1605Paul WilkinsonJane O'BrienMBSC‑656516

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