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Alton Water 2023 Fox's Chandlery & Anglian Water Frostbite Series Week 4

by Jenny Pavey 3 Feb 14:41 GMT 29 January 2023
Spectator watches the Alton Water Fox's Chandlery & Anglian Water Frostbite Series © Tim Bees

Yesterday it was Christmas and suddenly it's week 4 of this nine-week series, we're not sure how that happened. Week two was very much like week one, but even windier, so only the brave (or foolhardy) ventured out.

Week three was very different, very cold with blue sky and very little wind. One sailor was seen to lift what looked like his centreboard out of his boat, but it was actually a very large lump of ice. After a short delay when the wind unhelpfully shifted from north-west to north-east and the race marks were moved, it then swung back to the north-west so they were moved again and the race officer decided to set a simple triangular course, using just the inflatable marks, so they could be repositioned between the two races if necessary. The wind held up and even picked up slightly, allowing for two races to be sailed.

Week four brought something of everything; a decent breeze from the south-west, cloud, a little sun and milder temperatures than the previous Sunday. Water levels in the reservoir are up six feet from two weeks previously and the number of entrants has been increasing each week, with over forty for the series now and more than thirty of them racing in week 4.

There are entries from nineteen different classes of boat and include nine ILCAs, eight Cadets, six OKs and six RS dinghies of varying types. It's beginning to feel like pre-Covid times again.

Numbers were sufficient to allow for three starts for Fast/Asymmetric, Medium/ILCA (Laser) and Slow Fleets and two back-to-back races were sailed with a quick turnaround in-between. The 'often-used for a south-west wind' M-shaped course with two beats, a couple of reaches and a run was set, meaning sailors only sail through the line at the end of each lap, allowing races to be shortened at the end of any lap and no crossing necessary on any leg. The reaches were particularly enjoyed by the RS200s and 420.

There were several strong gusts during racing, taking some sailors by surprise and giving a few people the opportunity to test the water temperature (they said it's cold). Several of the younger sailors are providing stiff competition for the more mature competitors and the Cadets, as always, put on a colourful display of very close racing, so much so that they had a general recall in the first face and were re-started under a black flag, all good practice for competing in larger national events.

Series leaders so far are Alan Krailing/Charlotte Stewart (RS200) in the Fast/Asymmetrics, Rheanna Pavey in the ILCAs (ILCA 6), Emily Mitchell/Becky Mitchell (420) in the Medium fleet and Rhona Enkel/Sophie Ringland (Cadet) in the Slow fleet. However, people tend to dip in and out of this series and with five weeks/ten races (and six discards in the series) still to go, there is still all to play for. Racing starts at 11am each Sunday with a briefing at 10.30am.

Race results and excellent photos from Tim Bees, Emer Berry on the Committee Boat and Steven Mitchell, can be found each week on the Alton Water Frostbite Results facebook page.

Fast fleet - top three for week 4:

PosBoatHelm & CrewClubR7R8
1RS200Alan Krailing & Charlotte StewartWaldringfield SC11
2RS200Toby Smith & Devon Lane/Alvaro AlonsoRSC32
3FinnAdrian PellsHarwich Town SC23

ILCA/Laser fleet - top three for week 4:

PosBoatHelm & CrewClubR7R8
1ILCA 6/RadialImogen PalmerRutland SC21
2ILCA 6/RadialRheanna PaveyStour SC12
3ILCA 6/RadialEdward EelesBrightingsea SC33

Medium fleet - top three for week 4:

PosBoatHelm & CrewClubR7R8
1420Emily Mitchell & Becky MitchellAlton Water SC11
2LarkHarry Pynn & Gemma CookWaldringfield SC22
3OKPaul ChurchAlton Water SC33

Slow fleet - top three for week 4:

PosBoatHelm & CrewClubR7R8
1CadetGeorge Cox‑Olliff & George LettsWaldringfield SC21
2CadetRhona Enkel & Sophie RinglandWaldringfield SC12
3CadetTom Krailing & Ella EdwardsWaldringfield SC43

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