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M&S Marblehead Open GAMES 1 at Chipstead Sailing Club

by Roger Stollery 28 Jan 14:58 GMT 14 January 2023

All the participants were thanked by RO David Allinson for turning up at Chipstead on such a horrible wet, cold and windy Saturday morning. At 8am the rain was almost horizontal at times as gusts exceeding 30 mph whipped across the lake and the wind chill factor was significant.

Despite the rain, competitors began to arrive and register whilst the race team setup for the day. At 09:00 when the rescue boat ventured out to lay a course the wind was a south westerly 20mph gusting 35 mph. The Met Office predicted the breeze to remain strong and veer to a westerly. A windward leeward course approximately 180 meters in length was laid.

A short briefing was held during which Roger Stollery appraised every one of the "Short Penalty" system which we would be using for the day.

Racing commenced at 10:20. David Cole was quick off the start line, sailed in synch with the shifts and held a comfortable lead at the windward mark which was never troubled by the rest of the fleet. Nigel Barrow came home in second place with Roger Stollery in third.

Peter Stollery took race two with Nigel following him home. Barry Martin was close behind in third. The Vice family finally made it to the water after a trip home to rectify an essential boat part car packing issue.

Nigel then proceeded to win the third race closely followed by home club sailor Peter Crisp and Peter Stollery.

Unfortunately, David Cole retired from the competition with winch failure.

It was clear that a mistimed tack in the gusting wind would result in lost places as the boat could stall out and getting back on the wind was time consuming. Whilst the wind remained strong as the morning progressed, the rain was slowly easing down to a horizontal misty drizzle.

CJ Vice having resolved his boat issue in race two, took races four and five with impressive upwind speed and perfect tactics. The race team lengthened the course by forty meters whilst the sailors changed batteries and made any adjustments that were needed.

Peter Stollery was back on form taking races six and seven but chased home both times by CJ. CJ took race eight followed by Peter and Barrie.

A very welcome lunch break was taken at 12:30. Linda and Robin Aldcroft served a delicious Shepherds Pie with peas along with a chocolate roll and a hot drink.

Race results were entered and reviewed whilst sailors enjoyed the warmth of the clubhouse. Peter Stollery on 11 points held a slender lead from Nigel Barrow on 13 points and CJ Vice of 19 points.

Ten somewhat reluctant sailors left the warm clubhouse and ventured back to the lake as racing resumed at 13:40. The warmth of the clubhouse had obviously had a poor effect on the sailors as we promptly had two general recalls before racing got going.

CJ kept his pre-lunch form taking races nine and ten. Peter Stollery was second on race nine, but suffered boat issues in race ten with a retirement. Martin Crysell who had been placing very creditable fours and fifths most of the morning came home in second place in race 10. The course was adjusted prior to race ten as the predicted westerly had kicked in.

Nigel got the perfect start in race eleven and took a good lead at the windward mark. He was followed to the finish by Barrie Martin and Peter Crisp.

Race twelve saw CJ return to the front but closely chased by Peter and Roger Stollery. The gusts were now heavier and Rob Vice was the now second sailor to withdraw with boat issues.

Race thirteen saw some heavy gusts during prestart manoeuvring. Barrie Martin lost his jib and was recovered by the rescue boat. After as delayed start, Martin Crysell sailed well to take the lead whilst Oliver Stollery sailing a down sized rig was flying along in the heavier gusts. Oliver chased Martin all the way to the finish with Tim Townsend taking third. This race saw four boats retire, three of which would not see the water again that day. Peter Stollery was out with winch issues, CJ was out with rudder servo issues and Barrie was out with sail issues.

The final race of the day was run at 15:30 with only five boats remaining. Nigel made a good start and sailed well to take the win, but closely followed by Peter Crisp and Roger Stollery, Oliver Stollery and Martin Crysell.

As the race team packed up, sailors put their boats back into cars, race results were entered and calculated, hot drinks and cake was served by Robin and the clubhouse was a warm dry friendly environment.

The 2022 Midgley Mug was presented by RO Dave Allinson to Roger Stollery for winning the 2022 GAMES series of ten Marblehead events. Roger thanked the club for holding the meeting and looked forwards to being back next year.

The Open Meeting prize-giving distributed a bottle of wine down to 5th place and a special prize to the junior sailor Oliver Stollery, who shows signs of being a future star of Radio Sailing.

A word of thanks was given by Nigel Barrow for the great day and his hope that he would be back at Chipstead for the IOM event in February.

Nigel had sailed consistently well all day in the strong winds and thoroughly deserved the victory, Second and third places were only separated by countback.

Thanks also went to all those who helped, Linda and Robin Aldcroft for a great lunch, Mike Lightwing for his diligence with the starts and finishing results, and to Stuart Ord-Hume for his photographs, mark placing and boat recovery duties.

Overall Results:

1st Nigel Barrow (Frensham) STARKERS 33pts
2nd CJ Vice (Guildford) GRUNGE 46pts
3rd Peter Stollery (Guildford) UP 46pts
4th Martin Crysell (Guildford) PRIME NUMBER 54pts
5th Peter Chrisp (Chipstead) GRUNGE 62pts
6th Barrie Martin (London MYC) STARKERS 66pts
7th Roger Stollery (Guildford) UP 68pts
8th Tim Townsend (Medway) ROK 77pts
9th Rob Vice (Guildford) UP 82pts 10th Oliver Stollery (Guildford) UPROAR 85pts
11th David Cole (Hampton Court) GRUNGE 125pts

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