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Enterprise Thames Valley Championship at Silver Wing Sailing Club

by Adam Wickenden 22 May 22:58 BST 20 May 2023
Enterprise Thames Valley Championship at Silver Wing © Helen Pridmore

13 Enterprises gathered at Silverwing SC on Saturday 20th May for the combined Silverwing SC open for the 'Just Jane Trophy', and the Thames Valley Championship. The fleet consisted of seven home boats, and 6 visitors from as far away as Midland SC and Rugby and Daventry SC.

We were presented with a pleasant north-easterly force three, albeit somewhat variable as is the way at Silverwing. This allowed race officers Dave and Ann Gates to set a good course with two beats plus a run and a pair of reaches. The start/finish line was also right by the clubhouse for good spectator appeal. The initial intention to try six laps in the first race did provide some consternation however.

4 races were to be sailed, two back-to-back either side of lunch.

Race 1 saw Nigel and Andy Bird immediately lay down a marker and lead from the first mark to the finish. Behind him was Ann Jackson crewed by Jon Dyas followed by Martin Davis. A luffing match by Ann on the approach to the last mark of the first lap allowed anther boat in and dropped her down to third. She stayed there for another two laps, but was able to regain second on the fourth and final lap.

Race2 started with the wind having veered right, favouring the committee boat end of the line. Jeremy and Kirsty Bedingfield had spotted this and tacked off as far right as it was possible to go once clearing the Silverwing island. This allowed them to pretty much reach into the first mark in the lead. They were followed round by Nigel Bird and Richard Grey. Their cunning plan was scuppered by a hole on the first run, which allowed several of the chasing boats to gain an advantage as the wind filled in from behind.

A somewhat congested first leeward mark saw Martin Davis ending up having to take a 720 penalty. Nigel Bird was soon able to assert his dominance once again and pull through into the lead, which he held until the end.

Race 3 started at 2pm after lunch. The wind had backed to its original direction, and the RO team had pulled the first mark a few yards to the left to compensate. Some port bias in the line saw a partial recall with one boat OCS at the pin end. Nigel Bird and Ann Jackson once again took the first two slots at mark one. This time it was Dave and Claire Ackroyd from the home club that were chasing them round the mark in third place.

Ackroyd however slipped back into fifth place by the end of the first lap. The second windward mark and subsequent reach tended to be in a hole in the wind. This led to a fair bit of place changing, with some boats gybing out at 90 degrees to the course to find a gust. Nigel Bird won again with Ann Jackson second.

Race 4 saw the wind finally settle, causing the RO to shift the two windward marks to the right. This put the first mark being right up in one corner of the lake, leading to a somewhat tricky approach.

Nigel Bird once again rounded first, but a 720 on the first run allowed Ann Jackson and Pete Jackson to pass him. The front 4 boats were able to put a safe cushion between them and the rest of the fleet. This allowed the front boats to engage in some close racing without fear of being caught, leading to some place changing.

Silver Wing Commodore and Enterprise fleet captain Pete Jackson found it so exciting in third place that he decided to treat his crew to a swim on the last lap, caused by a messed-up tack. This led to them retiring.

Nigel Bird managed to pass Ann Jackson on the last lap and win all 4 races.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st22456Nigel BirdAndy BirdRYA‑11113
2nd23170Ann JacksonJon DyasBurghfield SC2‑5226
3rd23045Adam WickendenAndrea Goldsack‑HoskinSilverwing SC‑32338
4th23015Richard GreyCatherine GreyQueen Mary SC‑737414
5th22320Martin DavisRebecca BradleyRugby and Daventry SC446(RET)14
6th23047Pete JacksonTalha AliSilverwing SC574(RET)16
7th21853Dave AckroydClaire AckroydSilverwing SC‑985518
8th22901Paul YoungJames GuyMidland SC8‑108622
9th22705Robin BroomfieldPaul BloomfieldMinima Yacht Club‑1169823
10th21104Chris NokesJane/Tom NokesSilverwing SC69‑11924
11th23124Jeremy BedingfieldKirsty BedingfieldSilverwing SC10‑1110727
12th2304Malcolm WellerTracey WellerSilverwing SC1212(DNC)DNC38
13th22527Harrison FieldLauren EbertSilverwing SC(RET)DNCDNCDNC42

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