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Thames Valley ILCA series at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Gary Bullock 14 Nov 2023 18:17 GMT 12 November 2023
Thames Valley ILCA series at Queen Mary © UKLA

After 3 previous attempts to run the QMSC ILCA open due to a lack of wind the forecast for Sunday had some promise as it was due to increase during the day.

A two minutes silence was observed at 11am on the water with the racing due to start at 11.10. The plan was for three races to be run back to back with no discards. With the high level of competition at QM consistency would be key.

32 boats lined up for the first race in a 5 Knot wind from the north but it was forecast to move easterly throughout the day. A few big names missed the start or were late, so that meant their day would be a tough one with no discards.

The fleet got away first time and the leaders emerged from the right with slightly more breeze. Mike Pryer let Gary Bullock just pip him to the windward mark with Steve Pears,William McDonald and Tony Woods close by. The fleet was already spread out early as any left hand course takers got stranded where the wind had faded. No place changes at the leeward mark but the top three split on the next upwind. GB extended his lead by staying in more breeze and Steve managed to pass Mike.

With a shortened course it finished Gary, Steve Mike, Tony in 4th, and William McDonald sailed well to finish 5th.

The wind had now swung round to the east and increased to 7-10 knots. The course was moved with a longer course set. Surprisingly we got away first time again with the pin end being favoured, Chris Ellyatt won the pin and with Mark Sanken managed to tack and cross the fleet then headed out to the right where they established a big lead by the windward mark.

These two managed to hold onto their positions till the finish, Josh Lyttle sailed a solid race to finish 3rd, Guy Noble played the shifts well upwind to pull through the fleet to finish 4th and Ben Sharp finished 5th to give him 2 solid races going into the final race.

Going into the final race Ben and Mike were equal first with 12 points with another eight sailors in with a shout of the event.

Another clean start for race 3 with Josh getting to the windward mark first before capsizing on the downwind to allow Tony Woods and Matt Reid to pass. Unfortunately on lap 2 Matt headed for the finish prematurely which meant Tony then headed the fleet where he held to the finish, further back Ben, Steve and Gary were down the pan and out of contention but Mark, Guy and Mike were in the top 8 and still in with a chance of the win.

With a nervy last downwind leg to the finish It finished with Tony first Andy Omasta 2nd Guy 3rd Mike 4th and Mark 5th.

So Mike Pryer had done enough being the only sailor to have three results in the top ten, Mark and Guy both recovered well from late a start in the first race, leading to a poor result, to finish 2nd and 3rd.

It was a tough day to put three good races together and only 10 points separated 2nd to 10th, Congratulations to Mike on a well deserved win.

I am sure he will be dining out on this one for a while! In the ILCA 6 fleet QM sailor John Boyle came out on top with Corneille Le prince second and third Kyle Dixon. Well done to all the visitors who experienced the ups and downs of QMSC racing.

ILCA 7 Results:

PosSail noForenameSurnameClubR1R2R3Pts
11th203257KaiHockleynKing George Sailing Club1117836
27th147662JessyeOpoku‑WareKing George Sailing Club22262674

ILCA 6 Results:

PosSail noForenameSurnameClubR1R2R3Pts
3rd147662CorneilleLeprinceGreig City AcademyDNC3210
4th219090KyleDixonKing George Sailing ClubDNCDNC414

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