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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Miracle End of Seasons 2023 at Shustoke Sailing Club

by Dave Turtle 10 Oct 2023 22:13 BST 7-8 October 2023
Miracle End of Seasons at Shustoke - start of final race © Aaron Gibson

What a fabulous weekend! Glorious sunshine, a good breeze (well, on Saturday at least), great venue and super hospitality. Sailing in T-shirts and shorts in October was in stark contrast to recent years when we have been battered by Storm Brian or one of his relations.

Six visiting Miracles from across the country joined the home boats for the End of Season Championships that was successfully run alongside normal club racing. Some had travelled on Friday and took advantage of the on-sight camping facilities and the opportunity to sample the local hostelries.

On Saturday we were greeted by a brisk westerly breeze blowing straight down the length of the reservoir that gradually weakened through the afternoon. A leisurely start time of 13:30hrs allowed plenty of time to rig and tune the boats and generally catch-up with friends as well as enjoying the sausage baps and an early lunch.

Race 1 started as scheduled with club racing five minutes later. Guest pairing of Jamie and Cole from the home club "nailed" the pin end on the short port-biased start line but failed to take full advantage. The racing was very close up the first beat with most boats rounding closely packed together making it difficult for the front boats to get clear wind.

Dave and Zara were first to emerge from the bunch closely followed by Wayne and Angela which set the scene for much of the weekend!

The long downwind legs were as tactical as the beats and Graham and Helen moved into second place midway through the race only to lose out to both Wayne and Angela and Hannah and Tom on the final lap.

Race 2 started after a brief tea break and a longer course making the most of the whole lake. Dave and Zara rounded first and established a good lead but could not shake off Wayne and Angela who were always ready to take advantage of any mistakes. The racing was very close throughout the rest of the fleet with Hannah and Tom claiming a well-earned third place just ahead of her parents, Carolynn and Nick.

With racing completed for the day, the whole fleet ambled across the road to enjoy an excellent meal at the local pub where many sailing memories were relived.

Sunday morning dawned and the reservoir was like a mirror; a race officer's nightmare. However, the forecast was for the wind to fill in around mid-day so racing was duly postponed allowing more time for a leisurely breakfast. There were no complaints. This proved a good decision and the wind complied enabling all three scheduled races to be completed.

Race 3 was held at the western end of the lake just as the fitful wind began to stabilise. The windward mark proved to be quite a challenge but John and Kathy showed the others how it was done rounding in first place. Clear air was the key to the downwind leg and Dave and Zara latched onto a lucky puff to pull clear leaving Wayne and Angela to claim second and John and Cathy third.

Race 4 commenced after a short break for lunch and once again Jamie and Cole demonstrated how to perfect the start. However, it was the leading two teams who continued to show mastery of the testing conditions with Jamie and Cole achieving their best result of third place. Graham and Helen managed to keep ahead of Paul and Dave who had their joint highest position of the weekend at fifth.

Race 5 was held back-to-back on an extended course but the fleet were too keen to get away which resulted in the only general recall of the weekend.

The second start was good with John and Kathy finding the best way up the beat again rounding first followed by Dave and Zara and Nick and Carolynn. Although the top two overall had already been decided, with just three results from five to count, many of the final positions rested on the last race.

This was one of the closest races with many place changes throughout and everyone finished within minutes of first boat. Perhaps it was the promise of tasty refreshments encouraging a speedy finish? Graham and Helen finished second in the final race claiming third place overall. John and Kathy finished third claiming fourth place overall.

A very welcome afternoon tea awaited competitors and helpers prepared by the hard-working galley team followed by prize-giving in the sunshine.

Many thanks go to:

  • The Race Officers, Pete and Tim, who were very professional and did exceptionally well to complete the full programme of five races with some excellent courses. Also, the various Safety crew.
  • The galley, especially Dav who was there all weekend keeping us fed and watered.
  • Zara for organising the event.
  • All the competitors without which there would not be an event.

In conclusion, a successful championship and a great weekend.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st4026Dave TurtleZara FranktonShustoke SC‑1‑11113
2nd4121Wayne AthertonAngela SweeneyDelph SC‑2222‑46
3rd4114Graham WattsHelen JacksStaunton Harold SC‑4‑544210
4th4020John TippettKathy BoultonDraycote Water SC‑663‑8312
5th3805Hannah Metcalfe‑SmithTom Metcalfe‑SmithThornbury SC33‑76‑712
6th402Jamie CuxsonCole BriscoeShustoke SC‑7‑863514
7th4115Carolynn SmithNick SmithThornbury SC‑8457(DNF)16
8th4110Paul RobinsonDave DysonWhitefriars SC5‑7‑85616

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