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General Handicap and Challenger open meeting at Ogston Sailing Club

by Marion Edwards 2 Oct 2023 21:42 BST 30 September -1 October 2023
Ogston Handicap and Challenger Open © Marion Edwards

The Ogston SC general handicap and Challenger open meeting is usually the final event of the year for the Challengers. This year was no exception.

There were eleven Challengers in the 25 boat general handicap fleet. There were eight visiting Challenger sailors four of whom were kindly loaned Ogston Challengers. The weather forecast indicated there would be rain from Saturday lunchtime for the rest of the weekend and this turned out to be the case. The wind was forecast to be light on Saturday but better on Sunday. It is debatable if this was the case.

On Saturday the Challengers were launched into a light southerly(ish) breeze and were initially sent round the corner towards the dam. However, soon afterwards the committee boat returned with a flotilla of following dinghies - the wind was more consistent in the northern part of the reservoir, even so it was very light at F2 possibly gusting F3.

The general handicap fleet started first followed five minutes later by the Challengers. The course was very much round the cans with a long beat followed by zigzagging down to the leeward mark.

There was a certain amount of shenanigans at the start of Race 1. Graham Hall (270) was at the committee boat end, but Duncan Greenhalgh (280) came underneath him and pushed him up. This had the effect of shutting Val Millward (312) out of the start and she was forced to spin right round and start once the front row had got away. As this manoeuvre had the effect of slowing both Duncan and Graham H down and the chief beneficiary was Dave Hodson (4) as he managed to fetch the windward mark and rounded it well in the lead.

He was eventually hunted down by Graham H. Dave Driffill (275) was third Challenger for much of the race but at the final mark lost out to Val and then to Duncan when only a few metres from the line.

In Race 2 Dave D led until the penultimate mark of the first lap when he headed for the wrong mark allowing Val and Graham to get by. These positions were held through the rest of the three lap race until Graham went right on the final beat to the finish and Val went left. Right was the way to go.

The fleet then returned to shore for an excellent lunch (as is usual at Ogston). The results of the races were soon posted and the Enterprise of Russ and (eight year old) James Short was in the lead followed by Graham H and the K1 of David Tiney.

During lunch it began to rain and the wind dropped, in spite of this, after lunch the boats were launched for a further race. They were sent round the corner, supposedly to the better wind.

In race 3 the general handicap fleet got away in some breeze but when the Challenger start came there was very little left and what there was, was swirling around unhelpfully. Those boats that started on port (Dave D, Duncan and Alex) reached the windward mark first, those who attempted to start on starboard were unable to cross the line. Dave D was in the lead on the approach to the leeward mark (it was to be a one lap race) closely followed by Graham H.

However, Alex found his own special bit of wind and used it to "power" down the run and overtake Dave D and Graham H before rounding the mark and being carried to the finish as first Challenger and seventh overall.

During the race Dave Hodson was forced to improvise as the block of his rudder downhaul failed. However, he found that by wrapping the line round his foot he could raise and lower the rudder as required. It can't be said that this new technique helped his results much as he was fifteenth overall but better than the alternative of a DNF.

The fleets returned to shore as best they could: drifting, paddling or for the lucky ones a tow with a safety boat.

The first three places remained the same but Graham H only held on to second place on countback from David Tiney's K1.

Much of the Challenger fleet remained at the club for an excellent evening meal (and those staying at the club most likely took full advantage of the bar!).

There was supposed to be more wind on Sunday and it was supposed to be more south westerly but it had clearly not looked at the forecast and failed to fill in as much as expected. The fleet were launched and headed off round the corner to the race area.

Graham H had a disastrous start of Race 4 when he not so much hit the committee boat as attempted to board it. The race officer assured him he was last to start. Dave D was first to the windward mark but proceeded to go round it the wrong way. This created mayhem among the following boats. Val was able to take the lead on the downwind leg and extended to be first Challenger (and eighth overall).

Graham was in catch up mode, and was sixth or seventh place at the first windward mark where he met Chris Keats-Hannan (5) and made the mistake of telling her "well done". Her race went downhill after that! Graham managed to claw himself up to second but he was not going to catch Val.

Before race 5 the race committee made the perfectly reasonable request to a safety boat to move mark X (a moveable mark) to a new location. The safety boat refused because... the chain had come off it and mark X could not be laid anywhere (mark X is now under the care of the "Tuesday group" who keep the club's kit in working order). The race committee decided on a different course.

By the start of race 5 the wind was dying and the rain stuck the tell tales to the sails making it even more difficult to tell where the wind was coming from. Lynn Steward (75) found some breeze and was first Challenger to the windward mark. While she couldn't hold this position for long it was by far her best race ending as sixth Challenger and fifteenth overall. On the first lap Duncan and Dave H were heading to the wrong leeward mark and, after been shouted at by Graham H and Val, changed course for the correct one. Val took the lead on the second beat and held it to the finish.

Once the final results had been calculated, the K1 of David Tiney took first from the Enterprise of Russ and James Short (they had to be separated by position in last race as they were equal on countback). Chris Fowler in her Comet Extra (almost the slowest boat on handicap on the water) was third. She was delighted and explained at the prize-giving that she had never won anything before! Graham H was lead Challenger in sixth and Challengers occupied places nine to thirteen. Lower down the fleet there had been a close fought battle between Caz Jerromes (313), Chris KH and Graham Turner (3) and ultimately they finished in that order but they were never separated by more than three points.

When the Challenger results were scored separately. Graham H remained on top and was presented with the Harry Fisher Shield as first Challenger. Val was second, just one point behind Graham H, and Dave D third. The first three Challengers were in exactly the same order as last year! But below this there were some anomalies. Largely due to his skillful/lucky (delete as appropriate!) race win Alex (twelfth overall) leapfrogged Duncan (eleventh overall) to be fourth Challenger. Graham T leapfrogged both Caz and Chris KH to be eighth Challenger.

The prize-giving ended with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Caz who then proceeded to distribute cakes to everyone!

Thank you to Ogston Sailing Club, particularly the race officer Craig Harrison (Commodore) and assistant race officer Natalie Smith (Vice-Commodore), the galley team and safety crews. A special thanks to everyone who helped launch and recover the Challengers.

Handicap Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubPYR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stK1150David Tiney Ogston SC10702‑32116
2ndEnterprise23219Russ ShortJames ShortOgston SC1126121‑326
3rdComet Extra467Chris Fowler Ogston SC1197‑11436417
4thALBACORE8135Simon LawMatilda HarrisonOgston SC103755(DNF)2618
5thILCA 7 / Laser212459Luke Wiltshire Ogston SC1101‑9654318
6thCHALLENGER270Graham Hall Rutland SC1173318‑9921
7thSOLO5163Ken McKenzie Ogston SC1142‑10745824
8thILCA 7 / Laser142116Mike Wiltshire Ogston SC1101‑12867526
9thCHALLENGER312Val Millward Rutland SC1173610‑128731
10thCHALLENGER275Dave Driffill Ogston SC11738‑129101037
11thCHALLENGER280Duncan Greenhalgh Bassenthwaite SC11737‑1313131144
12thCHALLENGER304Alex Hovden Papercourt SC117315‑167111245
13thCHALLENGER4Dave Hodson Rutland SC11734151512‑1646
14thILCA 6 / Laser Radial198930Daniel Dean Ogston SC1150‑141111141349
15thALBACORE6698Steve HuntBob CableOgston SC103717171016‑1860
16thCOMET TRIO (MK I)481Cindy HarrisNicky SillifantOgston SC109619‑2118151466
17thSUPERNOVA351Lee Purslow Ogston SC1077161414(DNC)DNC70
18thILCA 6 / Laser Radial189200Mike Heap Ogston SC1150139(DNF)DNFDNC74
19thCHALLENGER313Caz Jerromes Rutland SC117318‑2017201974
20thCHALLENGER5Chris Keats‑Hannan Ogston SC1173‑211916212076
21stCHALLENGER3Graham Turner Ogston SC11732018(DNF)182177
22ndCHALLENGER75Lynn Steward Wigan & St.Helens SC117322(DSQ)DNF191582
23rdILCA 7 / Laser168960Bryan Webster Ogston SC1101(DNC)DNCDNC171786
24thCHALLENGER6Belinda Nola Scaling Dam1173(DNF)DNCDNF222296
25thRS TERA SPORT Rupert Turner Ogston SC14452322(DNS)DNCDNC97

Challenger Results: (for Harry Fisher Shield)

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st270Graham HallRutland SC11‑2226
2nd312Val MillwardRutland SC32‑4117
3rd275Dave DriffillOgston SC‑5333312
4th304Alex HovdenPapercourt SC‑6614516
5th280Duncan GreenhalghBassenthwaite SC445‑6417
6th4Dave HodsonRutland SC2565‑718
7th3Graham TurnerOgston SC8797‑1031
8th313Caz JerromesRutland SC7‑989832
9th5Chris Keats‑HannanOgston SC987‑10933
10th75Lynn StewardWISH SC10(DSQ)DNF8636
11th6Belinda NodaScaling Dam SC(DNS)DNCDNF111146

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