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Firefly open meeting at Rickmansworth Sailing Club

by Jenny Smallwood 18 May 08:31 BST 13-14 May 2023
Firefly open meeting at Rickmansworth © RSC

26 competitors were greeted by tea and coffee, pastries, and a lack of the usual sun on the morning of Saturday 13th May at Rickmansworth SC - although Alex and Hugh only pitched up in the car park as the first race was about to start - but they did deny having had a heavy night on Friday, and Jason clearly feeling confident of a win having left the trophy behind on his dining room table!

After a quick briefing the fleet, comprising 7 home boats and 6 visitors, launched into light-medium, very shifty, winds.

The first race got away cleanly with the fleet very close at mark 1. Jason & Imogen and Ellen & Charlotte lead Jenny & Phil around the top mark and onto two long reaches. The long, light downwind was a game of patience and Jenny & Phil managed to find the best breeze. Jonny & Veronica found good way upwind to be able to get ahead of Jason & Imogen to take second by the end of the race.

The fleet was eager to start the second race and a general recall sounded as the bunch at the pin got hit by a gust in the final moments before the gun. The next start got away cleanly, with Jonny & Veronica hitting the left corner upwind giving themselves a large lead. The pack behind (James & Freya, Jenny & Phil, Ellen & Charlotte) fought it out amongst themselves for a few laps before Jenny & Phil pulled away and nearly pipped Jonny & Veronica to the finish line, followed by James & Freya.

After the race the fleet returned for a leisurely lunch break onshore, followed by the third race.

Another good start led to a tight bunch at the windward mark with Alex & Hugh leading Jenny & Phil and Jonny & Veronica. Big shifts meant it was all to play for, some acting more defensively whilst others willing to risk a punt to gain big. By the end of the third lap Jenny & Phil had a large lead over the ensuing pack and Jason & Imogen fought their way up to second, beating Jonny & Veronica.

The final standings were Jenny Smallwood & Phil Aldhous in first, followed by two father-daughter duos: Jason & Imogen Aldous and Jonny & Veronica Bickford.

Thanks to Rickmansworth SC for hosting a great event and we hope next year to have even more competitors, wind and sunshine!

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