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Solo open meeting at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club

by Nick Fisher 26 May 13:17 BST 20 May 2023

The reservoir at Cheddar was bathed in glorious sunshine with a forecast 10 - 14 knots NE'ly, which did not bode well fighting with the incoming sea breeze from the South West.

The briefing took place at 1100 with a dying wind as the sea breeze started to fill in. Course was changed to a trapezoid to enable the RO to at least endeavour to set a decent beat.

We sailed out to the start at the Southern end of the lake to be greeted with the AP hoisted. With some judicious mark moving and the sea breeze failing in its attempt at overturning the gradient wind AP down and into the sequence.

It is a combined Solo/Laser open, with the Lasers being the faster boats they set off first, their start being our 5 minute signal. Having been warned by the RO that he wanted clean starts due to the fickleness of the wind, there was orderly behaviour at the gun, or it could just have been that some of us are now pushing on a bit in years and need to conserve our energy.

The wind stayed fairly steady for the first beat until about 100 yds from the windward mark, whereupon it decided to drop and shift all over the place, this caught several of us out as we struggled to make the mark. I was in good company as myself and Ollie Turner had come in on Port and got completely stuffed with the shifts which appeared to be about 40 degrees.

Ollie, being the canny sailor he is managed to extricate himself, whereas l managed to come off the mark last. The wind was relatively steady for most of the race apart from the windward mark. Charlie Nunn (Torpoint) took the gun with Ollie Turner 2nd and John Steels (Starcross) 3rd.

Race 2 started after lunch with much the same as race 1: flukey winds and despite the RO shifting the windward marks 75 yds downwind to avoid the horrible shifty patch it was still a bit of a lottery for some. Steve Mitchell (Torpoint) made the best of it and being a lightweight sailor made the most of the conditions to take the win from Ollie Turner with Roger Guess (Salcombe YC) in 3rd.

Race 3 started off with an individual recall, Tim Wade (Lymington Town SC) being an offender. Roger Guess flew off the line and was leading by 50 yds when he was informed he was OCS, straight in for the early bath and finished for the day.

Meanwhile the wind had piped up to such an extent that even Vernon Perkins was sitting on the gunwhale, he reckoned he was fully hiked but all l could see was two rather large bum cheeks peeking over the side while lightweight Steve Mitchell was fully hiked but the glory of the previous race was to elude him.

Meanwhile with the wind shifting it paid handsomely to stay left on the second beat and the man to take advantage of that was Shaun Welsh (Torpoint) who rounded the windward mark with a good lead, however in the following pack was Ollie Turner, Steve Roberts (Torpoint) John Steels and Charlie Nunn. Shaun was unable to fend off the sustained pressure from the hunting pack and it was Steve Roberts who took the win with John Steels 2nd and Charlie Nunn 3rd.

So, with 3 races complete and a discard kicking in it was Charlie Nunn who took the overall win with Turner 2nd and Steels 3rd. Next Western Area Event is the Area Championship at Chew Valley on the 1st weekend of June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5901Charlie NunnTor Point Mosquito1‑534
2nd5546Olly TurnerSalcombe SC22‑44
3rd5926John SteelsStar Cross YC3‑1025
4th5642Steve RobertsTor Point Mosquito7‑818
5th5251Roger GuessSalcombe SC53(DNC)8
7th5905Steve MitchelTor Point Mosquito‑9189
8th5731Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney‑137613
9th5072Jon CoatesBCYC‑126915
10th5629Tim WadeLymington Town6‑121016
11th5844Nick FisherTor Point Mosquito89‑1117
12th5778Shaun WalshTor Point Mosquito‑1413518
13th5479Bill ChardChew Valley SC1011(DNC)21
14th4514Charles DavidsonBCYC1114(DNC)25

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