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HD Sails Streaker Southern Paddle Open at Tamworth Sailing Club

by Matt Whitfield 28 Mar 19:03 GMT 23 March 2024
James Dawes, winner of the HD Sails Streaker Southern Paddle Open at Tamworth SC © Felicity Haines

Sunshine, showers and strong shifty winds greeted a reduced field of five Streaker sailors at Tamworth sailing club on the morning of Saturday 23rd March 2024 for the first round of the HD Sails Southern Paddle.

With some put off by the forecast and others with car trouble or injury, three home helms were joined by two visitors and took to the water for race one at 11am, with 12 ILCAs who were also holding their first meeting of the year.

On a strongly port bias line, it was Matt Whitfield (1901), James Dawes (1975) and Ian Whitfield (1900) who made the best starts, with the trio one on top of the other for what turned into a close fetch to the first mark. A late lift allowed Matt to just scrape through in the lead, closely followed by James and Ian. Armed with some local knowledge, Matt and Ian headed left through the gap in the islands, with James choosing instead to head out to the right. As such it was Matt and Ian fighting down the first run, with James having lost out. Ian led briefly only for Matt to pull back in front in time for the next mark. James made up for his earlier error on the next beat, jumping Ian and rounding the next mark close with Matt. Matt and James continued a close fight for the next two laps, building a healthy gap over Ian in third. Eventually, James managed to build a gap back to Matt, doing a better job of negotiating the tail end of the ILCA fleet. And so, it finished James from Matt with Ian a distant third. Further back, local helm Karl Haines (2173) and visitor Chris Godwin (2160) had an initially close battle, both doing a great job of managing in the building breeze to finish with Karl fourth and Chris fifth.

Race two got under way shortly after an excellent ploughman's lunch, prepared by the volunteers at TSC. Despite a slight shift in the building breeze, the start line still had a big port bias, although this time the fleet would have to put some tacks in to make the mark. Matt had the lead early on, only to lose out by the windward mark, with James rounding in the lead, followed closely by Ian. Matt found a way past Ian on the run, with the pair both closing in on James. By the end of the next beat, James and Matt were once again fighting closely, with Matt managing to get ahead on the reach across the lake, only for James to take it back on the next run, all while Ian had some bad luck, getting stuck in a tricky lull under the trees by the third mark. James would go on to steadily extend his lead over the rest of the race to take his second win of the day, followed by Matt again in second and Ian in third. Karl and Chris both had their struggles. Karl ran aground, damaging his rudder downhaul, but still managed to finish the race in fourth. Chris was not so lucky, struggling with a couple of capsizes before eventually throwing in the towel.

With Ian, Karl and Chris not keen for another race in the increasing wind, the decision was taken for the Streaker fleet not to head out for the final race and so James took the overall win, with Matt second and Ian third.

A big thank you to all the volunteers at Tamworth Sailing Club for hosting the Streaker Class once again.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
11975James DawesRedditch SC11(DNC 6)2
21901Matt WhitfieldTamworth SC22(DNC 6)4
31900Ian WhitfieldTamworth SC33(DNC 6)6
42173Karl HainesTamworth SC44(DNC 6)8
52160Chris GodwinRutland SC5DNF 6(DNC 6)11

Upcoming events for Streaker sailors:

  • Saturday 6th April - Ripon SC - North Sails Northern Paddle
  • Saturday 13th April - Bough Beech SC - HD Sails Southern Paddle

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