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Solo Open Meeting at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by John Reed 16 May 10:32 BST 15 April 2023
Bough Beech Sailing Club Solo Open © Martyn Smith

Bough Beech once again welcomed 15 boats, comprising a strong home fleet and a number of visitors, to the annual open meeting on the picturesque lake at the foot of the North Downs. The forecast was a decent early breeze which would reduce during the day. That would be telling in the final results.

The racing was ably run by George Smith Bough Beeches own RS600 National Champion, who in the north north west breeze set a 'P' course. The stronger breeze was much liked by the home sailor John Reed who rounded the windward mark first chased closely behind by Tim Lewis and Fraser Hayden, behind in 4th was Richard Hudson staying in front of the following pack. Fraser managed to get in front of John Reed but the lead was re taken up the beat where John Reed showed the best speed and local knowledge through the shifts. The race finished John Reed, followed by Tim Lewis, Fraser Hayden and Richard Hudson.

The second race started in more breeze which was much to John Reed's liking finishing half a leg ahead of the next boat sailed by Fraser Hayden, and Tim Lewis and in fourth was Bough Beech's resident laser expert Elliot Marks who also seemed to enjoy the freshening breeze.

The fleet retired to the shore and the galley once again served up an enjoyable lunch, where everyone noticed that the breeze was dropping and fairly quickly.

Despite the falling breeze our race officer managed two races in difficult circumstances with the breeze gradually tracking west.

Local light weather experts Richard Hudson, Patrick Ward, and Richard Southern came to the fore and were right on pace and it was Richard Hudson who showed the best pace and tactical awareness and indeed nerve, often going down the runs with the wind filing in from behind. It was the wind filling in from behind which was to be the downfall of John Reed when lying comfortably third. Richard was first, Patrick Ward second, Fraser third and Tim Lewis 4th.

So into the final race, Richard Hudson had to win and John Reed had to finish worse than 4th. Both happened, Richard crossed the line a very happy man and was crowned the BBSC Open meeting winner, the first time a home boat has won despite several very close misses.

So its definitely not over until... and it's a game of two halves! Congratulations to Richard and thank you to all our visitors who we hope to see again next year.

Overall Results:

1. Richard Hudson - BBSC
2. John Reed - BBSC
3. Tim Lewis - RYA
4. Fraser Hayden - Papercourt
5. Patrick Ward - BBSC/Chipstead
6. Elliot Marks - BBSC

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