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420 GP3 at Warsash Sailing Club

by Hugo Valentine 14 Sep 2023 14:24 BST 9-10 September 2023

On Saturday morning, the fleet of 24 420s was met with light winds and some extreme heat down on the sunny Solent. Everyone was very sceptical of getting 3 races in due to the 2 knots forecast and no signs of thermal enhancement all week. However, the race committee felt more confident than the sailors, only delaying us for an hour before towing the fleet to the race area.

Just after midday, the orange flag went up with the hope of some clean starts however, the slightly too eager fleet forced the committee to go to a black flag after the first general with the help of George Creasy and David Bromilow lining up very high from 2 minutes out! The second attempt led to about 40% of the fleet over, but with no black flags? Many boats along with the jury thought this to be an odd move from the committee, however, many boats breathed a sigh of relief. The third start finally got away with only one boat, the girls ISAF representative, Noa Moskovitch and Gabs Burlton, BFD. This first race proved very challenging tactically with more tide helping you upwind in the deep water on the right and lifting pressure coming off the land on the left. With a very pin-biased line, the leaders of race one, Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne came out strong from the left, rolling George and David on the port lay line. Locals Joe Jones and Hennie Burlton finished close behind on the finish line to take second.

In the third race, we saw a similar tactical difficulty, making the pin very congested causing a few boats to get a BFD. With their low-speed boat handling up to scratch, the under 17 pair Harry and Ralph just squeezed through to cross the fleet on port before taking back to cover the fleet. With the rest of the fleet very close, winning moves had to be made on the downwind as the racecourse got lighter and shiftier. A new pairing for this season Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine, mastered the tide downwind to pick the lay line perfectly. This gave them a very slight edge to take second place in race two closely followed by another new pairing Arwen Fflur and Mathew Rayner. The wind then proceeded to die off more, making it not raceable so we all enjoyed a long tow back in against the tide. It had been a long day on the water so covers were on quickly giving sailors time to recover for day two.

Sunday saw an even lighter start to the day with the sea looking more like a mill pond. This did not discourage the optimistic race committee who sent the fleet out on time. After being towed out, we all experienced every possible condition from rain and 15 knots to sun and 0 knots. Two hours later, the orange flag was displayed with the top mark only a few hundred metres away on the shoreline. The fleet knew this was going to be a tricky day, with the priorities being boat positioning into marks and understanding what was going on with the tide. The fleet was getting lots of pin end starting practice with the committee wanting to keep the fleet away from their lovely committee boat. In this race, we saw Emma Breeze and Charlotte Beardsall, another local boat taking their first bullet of the event due to their excellent first beat strategy, closely followed by Harry and Ralph. These boats definitely had a copy of winning tides in their spinnaker bags!

The last race of the Warsash GP was definitely something to remember. Harry and Ralph showed the fleet how it's done once again, to be counting all firsts as they crossed the finish line to win the event. However, how they got there was a miracle as throughout the race, we saw some very big shifts. By the second lap, boats were hoisting at the leeward gate and dropping at the windward mark following a 60-degree right shift. A drag race unfolded making for some interesting and memorable sailing. With points very tight, Will and Ethan secured an important second place when it mattered to put them in second place overall. The next four places separated by one point, there were some mixed emotions. Imogen and Hugo just snuck onto the podium in third and wrote the report once again of course! Gabs and Noa were first girl boat and sixth overall, getting the wrong end of the points. All the boats thoroughly enjoyed this weekend of racing with all Warsash's quirks. A big thank you to all the volunteers and well done to all the competitors.

Overall Results:

PosBow NoSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
1st4557275Harry GeorgeRalph Cawthorne11(2)13
2nd3257411William FletcherEthan Sparks36(9)211
3rd4456943Imogen WadeHugo Valentine823(9)13
4th9956467Arthur GreavesAngus McEwen445(6)13
5th4156954Arwen FflurMatthew Rayner536(8)14
6th5757224Noa MoskovitchGabs Burlton(BFD)54514
7th5055517Emma BreezeCharlotte Beardsall681(16)15
8th8255242Joe JonesHennie Burlton213(18)318
9th5657286Ellie CreightonBea Greenfield7(BFD)71024
10th6654852Tilda BrayshayCharlie Howard912(13)425
11th5455633Tabitha DaviesOlivia Creasy139(14)729
12th6356342Sabine PotterMerle Nieuwland111010(14)31
13th3355375Laragh EpsteinAdam Aziz1011(19)1334
14th6254849George CreasyDavid Bromilow(18)7111836
15th2954463Patrick BromilowThomas Kelsall12(16)121236
16th7054947George LanceElia Sellers14(BFD)81537
17th3757272Sebby BaileyEd Upton‑Brown1517(BFD)1143
18th2655371Eddie PalingEddie Quinn161416(22)46
19th4852556Hugo FletcherMathias Potter171520(21)52
20th1154983Fin WhaterhouseJames Alexander22(BFD)151956
21st2252230Nia MecklenburghImmy Jones211817(23)56
22nd2852915Freya HalsallJames Ball191922(24)60
23rd6754089Chris HampshireOllie Lumb20(BFD)212061
24th1657004Zac ShepherdArther Southall(DNC)DNCBFD1767

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