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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series and Inland Championship at Oxford Sailing Club

by John Butler 22 Aug 2022 15:41 BST 20 August 2022

Twelve Lightnings came together on Saturday 20th August at Farmoor Reservoir, home of Oxford SC, for the Noble Marine Insurance 2022 Lightning 368 Inland Championship.

With a wind of 15-20 knots, gusting 25, only 11 eventually ventured out, and the skill and endurance of all the competitors was severely tested over the course of the day, with a long trapezoidal course making the most of the large reservoir.

Race 1, before lunch, was sailed in the most moderate conditions, and Simon Hopkins nailed the start at the committee boat end and led at the windward mark. He was then passed by Penny Yarwood on the 3rd reach, with Caroline Hollier also closing up to him, but not getting past.

On the second beat, Simon split from Penny and sailed away to a good lead by the top mark as the wind gradually built, and Caroline was a casualty of the wilder conditions with a capsize as Ben Twist and John Butler made the most of their weight advantage to move into third and fourth respectively.

Ben passed Penny upwind only to be taken by her offwind, and Ian Rankin had a good second beat by choosing the right way to go, and on the subsequent two reaches and run managed to out plane both Ben and John to grab third, which he consolidated by tacking for the line early, having spotted a shorten course flag.

The committee boat in fact hoisted the shorten course flag and finished all the competitors after two laps, but because the klaxon on the boat wasn't working, and therefore not sounding a finishing signal as the boats crossed the line, all the competitors apart from Ian ignored or missed the "S" flag and carried on for one or even two more laps unaware of the fact they had been finished, until a rescue boat was sent to advise them all of the fact.

After lunch, the wind had definitely risen a notch or two, and there were far more casualties of the conditions.

Race 2 started with Penny lee-bowing Simon off the line, and in sailing higher she forced him to tack off. They both went right up the beat, whilst the majority of the fleet chose the middle or left, but they all came together as a gaggle at the first mark with Ian and Ben up there with the leading two. Simon & Penny stretched away downwind, and created a substantial gap by the bottom mark.

On the second beat with Simon covering Penny, they both again headed right, whilst the lone sailor who went left was John, who got a huge lift up to the windward mark on port and rounded second ahead of Penny, but 50 yards behind Simon.

John, who was using the newly class-legal all-carbon two-piece mast, seemed to benefit from its stiffer bottom section and planed right up to Simon's transom, but Simon held him off on the run to round the leeward mark marginally in front.

With the RO making sure that all five scheduled laps were completed this time, it was fitness and skill that counted, and Simon did an "over the horizon" job, whilst John faded after his outhaul became uncleated, followed by a couple of missed tacks, and Penny regained second with Ben clawing up to third from suffering a upwind windward roll after a large header on lap 2, and Ian getting ahead of John on the final lap to grab fourth.

Race 3 was the most testing of the three, and with the earlier conditions having taken their toll, only seven got to the finish.

Most sailors were suffering cramp by this time, so it was the survival of the fittest. Penny started on port at the pin end of the line and got away with it, and lead away up the beat and first lap with Simon following her at a distance. With the bigger gusts coming through on the second lap, it was Simon who took advantage, and at the windward mark he was well ahead of Penny, and proceeded to pull away to take his third win of the day.

With Penny in a lonely but secure second place, it was left to Ben to gradually overhaul John, who was third for the majority of the race, and pass him on the final lap.

A big thanks go to local Lightning sailor Margaret Clarke, and the Oxford Sailing Club's Race and Safety teams, for organising and facilitating an excellent championship in testing conditions, that in the end was dominated by Simon Hopkins with his three first places.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st428Simon HopkinsUp River YC‑1112
2nd425Penny YarwoodUp River YC‑2224
3rd435Ben TwistBroadstairs SC‑4336
4th441Ian RansonBolton SC34(DNF)7
5th433John ButlerSutton in Ashfield SC‑5549
6th407Bryan WestleyAldridge SC7(DNF)512
7th438Caroline HollierWOSC‑106612
8th440Margaret ClarkeOxford SC67(DNF)13
9th402Stephen HodgsonDenholme SC‑88715
10th329Steve GouldOxford SC9(DNS)DNS22
11th337Rachel FoakesOxford SC11(DNF)DNF24
12th417Jason GallagherDenholme SC(DNS)DNSDNS26

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