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Kestrel Eastern Area Championships at Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club

by Chris Grice 16 Oct 2022 22:42 BST 8-9 October 2022
Gusty conditions approaching the windward mark - Kestrel Eastern Area Championships at Maylandsea Bay © Vicky Broomfield

Eight Kestrels gathered at Maylandsea Bay for the Eastern Area Championships over the weekend of October 8th/9th. They were blessed with big tides, sunny weather, a NW Force 3 on the Saturday and Southerly Force 3 to 4 on Sunday.

Both days racing followed a similar pattern, with Race Officer Simon Evance setting great courses, with morning races starting in the creek and finishing in the river, afternoon races starting in the river and finishing on the club line in the creek.

The first race on Saturday morning involved a short fetch to the first mark where 2018 National Champions Gordon Miller & John Ellingham in 1460 lead from Howie Enkel & Danni Tebbutt in 1574 and Chris Grice & Kenny Hobbs in 1472. Howie opted not to three-sail to No 3 Mark, so Chris and Kenny were able to plane below them with the spinnaker up, and with visitors Gordon & John not identifying the mark until they had dropped below it, the first three boats swapped positions.

However, Howie & Danni picked the shifts better on the short windward leg and on the long broad reach out of the creek were able to open a gap which they maintained all the way around the course to take the win. A tight race for second ensued between Chris & Kenny and Gordon & John. The gap opened, was closed, opened again only to close on the next leg.

The gap at the finish was about half a second in favour of Chris & Kenny. Glen & Alex Enkel in 1587 came in fourth, with Dave & Pete Gibson fifth in 1612.

The second race from a committee boat start in the river, commenced with a long beat up to Coopers. The same first three boats were away at the front and swapped the lead between them until Gordon & John popped out first around the mark, followed by Chris & Kenny and Howie & Danni.

These three were pretty much nose to tail around the first triangle, and halfway up the second beat it looked as though Chris & Kenny were favoured, until Howie & Danni went hard right, got more pressure and a big port tack header, and were able to cross the other two by 100 yards, maintaining that lead all the way to the finish.

The dogfight for second resumed where it had left off in race one, swapping places several times until Chris & Kenny were able to gain a slight advantage over Gordon & John which they held to the finish.

With the wind increasing a bit and switching to the South, the first race on Sunday morning was started from the committee boat well down the creek at No 4, with a longish beat back up towards the club. With the incoming tide sweeping over the line, Chris & Kenny were over and had to dip back, but Gordon & John were clear at the first mark from Paul & Julie Gray in 1600.

Chris & Kenny however had made up a lot of ground on the beat and as the fleet ran out of the creek were able to move form third and into the lead, which they held to the finish. Gordon & John came in second with Howie & Danni, after a race long tussle with Paul & Julie, taking third.

With Howie having two wins and a third, and Chris one win and a second, it was still all to play for as they started the final race. This state of affairs only lasted, unfortunately, for about 100 yards!

Chris made his first tack after the start, in a promising position, but a toe strap knot parted, he performed a stylish backwards somersault into the Blackwater, cleating the main in the process and causing the boat to capsize.

Gordon & John had a good gap at the windward mark, with Howie & Danni not far behind. These two boats had a race long battle for the lead, Howie & Danni got past at one point, but Gordon & John were back in front on the next leg and covered all the way to the finish.

Dave & Pete Gibson came in third with Paul & Julie fourth and Glen & Alex fifth.

A well deserved overall win for Howie & Danni after a weekend of tight racing, with Chris & Kenny second and Gordon & John in third. Maylandsea Winter Series starts on Sunday October 23rd!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
11574Howard EnkelDanni TebbuttMBSC11‑324
21472Chris GriceKenny HobbsMBSC221‑65
31460Dusty MillerJohnMBSC‑33216
41612Dave GibsonPeter GibsonMBSC5‑66314
51587Glen EnkelAlex EnkelMBSC4‑55514
61600Paul GrayJules Dawson(DNC)DNC4417
71605Paul WilkinsonLisa PollardMBSC64‑7717
81533Karin GriceKatherine WilkinsonMBSC77(RET)DNC23

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