Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

Solo Midland Area Series Round 4 sponsored by Allen at Girton Sailing Club

by Kev Hall 19 May 06:57 BST 14 May 2022

The forecast for the 14th May was between SW 1-3kts and SW 5-7kts which, and I must admit that based on the good wind strengths the day before and the good wind strengths predicted for the day after it was a bit disappointing.

It was first Solo open meeting Girton SC have hosted so I was apprehensive and intrigued as to how it would go during the journey to Lincolnshire.

Temperature wise a very warm day was forecast so sunscreen and sunnies were the order of the day. On arriving at Girton SC I was pleasantly surprised at the space afforded for parking and rigging the boat.

The wind condition wasn't living up to the forecast but there was a part of me that was hoping, as it was still early, the wind would pick up. However I knew I was probably just fooling myself, but one can hope.

My next thought was that if not many travellers turned up, and we were all in agreement, we could call it off and go home. That thought was certainly dismissed when I saw the calibre of sailors that had started to arrive!

Alan Bishop, local Girton sailor, Steve Bishop, Chris Gillard, Andy Bayliss, Simon Maskell to name a few.

The forecast did clearly put some off attending, clashes with other events didn't help either....which we must all try to address next year.

As we were rigging the conversation turned to the 'pimped and personalised' Solos which were now starting to increase in number within the Solo fleet with Chris Gillard and Simon Maskell sporting new personalised ships.

Chris, who has served his time as Northern Area rep for many years, arrived with 6041 in the same livery as Tom Gillard's boat.

Simon Maskell arrived with another newly produced steed from the Winder stable, in a colour that was described in a number of different ways. Terrific Turquoise being one of the descriptions I heard and I have to admit it may not have been my first choice of colour but it looked stunning! *Sorry Simon I can't remember the actual colour you said it was... Azure Blue maybe.

The wind did pick up a little and there seemed to be little doubt we were going sailing.

I was trying to work out the layout of the lake and buoys and I have to admit I was a little bemused at first. For those that haven't visited Girton SC the lake has islands and bays with buoys in places which meant it would be tricky and strategic to say the least.

After a short briefing where the PRO Sam Mason explained the layout of the buoys on the water we headed out. I still wasn't sure at that point if we were going to be able to get a race started such was the wind condition.

Race 1 was reaching start as the wind was swinging from left to right every few minutes. The 11 boat fleet utilised the entire length of the line gambling on where they thought the wind could or would fill in first.

Local sailor, and light wind specialist, Alan Bishop took an early lead being challenged for most of the race by Andy Bayliss from Hykeham SC.

Snakes and ladders ensued in the fleet behind with winners and losers on pretty much every leg. Alan Bishop set his stall out early using his local knowledge to great effect to take the win from Andy Bayliss in second and yours truly in third.

During lunch, in glorious sunshine, we watched the wind increase in strength to the point where a few jokingly asked what we were still doing onshore as that could be the best wind of the day.

Race 2 started much the same as the previous until one minute after the start where it turned into a beat, then back to a reach, then a run, then a beat concentration (and more than just a bit of luck) was needed to spot where the wind was coming from or where it would pop up next.

I managed to get round the first mark ahead of Alan Bishop and a threatening chasing pack of Simon Maskell, Chris Gillard and Andy Bayliss.

It was a case of who got the patches of breeze at the right time and the first 5 changed places regularly until I spotted some wind filling in on the right side of the beat and manged to reach it first.

This meant I was able to pull out a bit of lead on the chasing pack on the last lap meaning I took the win from Simon Maskell second, having a good last beat, and Andy Bayliss in third.

So going into the last race of the day it was all to play for with any of the top 4 being able to win the event.

Race 3 started as a reach again and as before Alan Bishop was the first to round, closely followed by Chris Gillard and Andy Bayliss. After one lap the front pack were opening up a gap from the rest of the fleet, who seemed to get stuck and park themselves at one mark on the course for some time.

I took a chance on the last beat and sailed close to the left hand shore and I got a nice lift which meant I started to take boat lengths out of Chris and Andy's positions. Another big wind shift and I tacked again, I couldn't believe my luck at that point as it meant I was able to keep the lifted heading and boat speed to cross both Chris and Andy as they made their way over from the right.

Alan Bishop was on form again and made no mistakes to take the win, I was second and Andy Bayliss third.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5723Alan BishopGirton SC1‑412
2nd5524Kev HallNorthampton SC‑3123
3rd5421Andy BaylissHykeham SC2‑335
4th6037Simon MaskellHunts SC42(RET)6
5th6041Chris GillardSheffield Viking5‑849
6th5649Steve BishopHunts SC‑66511
7th5736Iain CarpenterNorthampton SC‑85611
8th5854Alan WilliamsSutton SC7‑9714
9th3947Paul JagoGirton SC‑97815
10th3405Jonti MasonGirton SC‑1010919
11th3589Simon BoothGirton SC‑11111021

First wooden boat - Paul Jago

Thanks to all the team at Girton SC for putting on the event, and the sponsor Allen for providing the prizes.

See you at South Staffs on the 21st May. Let's go sailing!

Related Articles

Chichester Harbour Race Week preview
Last year saw 383 boats crewed by almost 600 sailors from 65 clubs The UK's pre-eminent sailing harbour will again be the setting for the country's most well-attended open regatta when Chichester Harbour Race Week takes to the water this August. Posted on 28 Jun
Salcombe Yacht Club Summer Series Race 3
The sailors were in for a tough race on Saturday The sailors were in for a tough race on Saturday, a fresh 18 knot SSW breeze with gusts hitting the mid to high 20's was on hand to test their skill and fitness. Posted on 26 Jun
Solo Midland Area Championship at Northampton
Oliver Davenport runs pre-event training then wins the title For those who were keen enough the weekend started on Friday with a training session run by club members Kev Hall and Oliver Davenport, this saw a group of six hitting to water the sharpen their skills ahead of the weekend of racing. Posted on 23 Jun
Solos at Bala
Excellent courses, excellent competitive racing, and great friendly banter The day started with a NE Force 2 breeze that increased slightly throughout the day. Simon Lewis the race officer decided to run three back-to-back races from a committee boat start down the lake. Posted on 22 Jun
Solo Nation's Cup at Carnac overall
Concluding with an extravaganza of prizes, applause and speeches The steeple in the old town jutted out from the Carnac skyline, its majestic presence regal in contrast to the 60s style apartment complex adjacent to the clubhouse. Not sure how they got that through the planning application system... Posted on 21 Jun
RTYC One of a Kind Regatta
Sunshine and a strong westerly winds for the seven classes taking part Sunshine and a strong westerly wind greeted competitors who had travelled from as far afield as Orkney and Stromness to take part in the One of a Kind Regatta on the Tay, comprising seven of the most competitive classes in Scotland. Posted on 21 Jun
Solo Nation's Cup at Carnac day 3
Tom Gillard holds a good lead I awoke at 7 a.m, my phone alarm chime, in contrast to the ferry's slightly disturbing choice of music, soothed me from my REM and with brain re-booted I powered up the Macbook to finish my day 2 report. Posted on 21 Jun
Solo Nation's Cup at Carnac day 2
A UK-style summertime vibe, 16 degrees and grey Competitors arrived to a sodden YC Carnac, the morning's continental style storm leaving in its wake a UK-style summertime vibe, 16 degrees and grey. Posted on 20 Jun
Solo Nation's Cup at Carnac day 1
The fleet of 62 Solos have made it through customs After months of preparation the Nation's Cup is upon us and the fleet of 62 Solos have made it through customs, all on a promise to return home with whatever they came with. Posted on 19 Jun
Solo Nation's Cup build up
And so it begins... T-minus 24 hours Sixty National Solos are making the journey to Carnac to contest the 2022 Nation's Cup and with most of Europe basking in sunshine, the competitors can look forward to temperatures of 38 degrees and a predicted wind strength of 13-16 mph. Posted on 17 Jun