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Shustoke Gauntlet 2024

by Zara Turtle 26 Mar 08:43 GMT 24 March 2024

Shustoke Sailing Club threw down the gauntlet to sailors on a rather breezy but sunny Sunday 24th March. The impressive Gauntlet trophy has been retained by home club sailors for the past few years now, so was 2024 the year that a visitor would clinch it?!

The Gauntlet event consisted of two 80min pursuit races with 19 boats choosing to brave the gusty conditions. Visiting boats travelled from South Staffs, Midland and Barnt Green sailing clubs and joined a variety of boats ranging from the Miracle to the RS300. A brilliant course was set with 3 good beats and some great spinnaker legs.

The Miracle sailed by David Turtle and Zara Frankton was first out the blocks, hoping to pick up a good lead whilst the breeze was strong, and that it would magically drop as soon as the next boats started! Unfortunately for them the wind gods didn't deem this fair play, so the rest of the fleet were soon under way in good wind.

Two Solos were the first to break away from the pack - home boats Olly Saunders (who obviously wasn't showing any signs of tiredness from competing in a Solo open at Banbury the day before in even stronger winds!) and Paul Burgoine (new to Shustoke and looking like he'll be taking home a few prizes at the end of the year if he carries on like this!). Paul and Olly had a close battle until Olly chose the favourable path up one of the beats and pulled out a convincing lead.

It wasn't long until Olly overtook the Miracle and extended his lead to take the win. Meanwhile behind, with only minutes left, the Lark (sailed by reigning Gauntlet champions Stuart and Nick Hydon) led by the Scorpion (visiting boat of Chris Martin and Josh Oates) were having a close race and closing fast on David and Zara and Paul. On the final gybe mark Paul and David and Zara chose to go high whilst Stuart and Nick and Chris and Josh went low. The low boats got the benefit of the incoming gust and a quick gybe by Stuart and Nick pulled them ahead of the Scorpion in the final seconds! Leaving Chris and Josh in 3rd, Dave and Zara in 4th and Paul in 5th.

After a lunch break the wind showed no sign of dropping so the race started in similar conditions. David and Zara pulled out a good lead with Paul again breaking away from the pack in his Solo. However Stuart and Nick were steadily picking off the fleet and pulled up into first place with 20 minutes to go. The wind started to drop part way through the race, giving tired sailors a welcome break from surviving the variable and fluky gusts. David and Zara managed to keep Paul behind but couldn't stop the Scorpion flying past them on the run in the dying seconds of the race. That left Stuart and Nick in 1st, Chris and Josh in 2nd, David and Zara in 3rd and Paul in 4th.

So once again Shustoke retained its Gauntlet trophy with home boat Stuart and Nick Hydon taking the overall win. Chris and Josh came in second and Olly Saunders in third.

Well done to everyone who took part and thanks to the visiting boats for joining us for a great days sailing! Thanks must also go to the galley team, rescue crews and race officers for making the day run so smoothly!

Look out for advertisements for the 2025 Gauntlet because we're hoping to make it a bumper year as we celebrate the club's 50th birthday!

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubRatingR1R2Pts
1stLARK2495Stuart HydonNick HydonShusoke SC1062213
2ndSCORPION1969Chris MartinJosh OatesMidland SC1043325
3rdSOLO5497Olly Saunders Shusoke SC1142167
4thMIRACLE4026Dave TurtleZara FranktonShusoke SC1200437
5thSOLO6029Paul Burgoine Shusoke SC1142549
6thPHANTOM1492Jim Hopton Shusoke SC10006511
7thLARK2536Sam BaileyKamila CzartolomnaSouth Staffs SC10628715
8thSOLO5210Neil Wilkinson Shusoke SC11427815
9thSOLO5401Andy Bownes Barnt Green SC114210919
10thSOLO4439Cole Briscoe Shusoke SC114291120
11thILCA 6 / Laser Radial166412Tim Mardon Shusoke SC1154121022
12thSOLO5740Mike Cossey Shusoke SC1142111526
13thILCA 6 / Laser Radial178350Tim Makepeace Shusoke SC1154131427
14thRS300333Jamie Cuxson Shusoke SC965161228
15thILCA 6 / Laser Radial207008Lucinda Thornton Shusoke SC1154171330
16thSOLO5025Mike Evans Shusoke SC1142141731
17thRS300359George Bender Midland SC965151631
18thSOLO5177Chris Blackburn Shusoke SC1142181836
19thLARK2481Andy WardRichard F ConnolllyShusoke SC1062191938

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