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Musto 2023 Hikers LEADERBOARD

Byte Open at Bowmoor Sailing Club

by Richard Whitehouse 1 Apr 20:00 BST 23 March 2024

The day of the first Byte Open meeting of the season was cold, mostly overcast and very windy. Seven Bytes braved the conditions for the first race, as many of the local Byte sailors were away on a skiing break!

The event was shared with 15 ILCA's, a mixture of 4's 6's and 7's. They suffered the same dropout as the day progressed, with approximately half retiring after the first race in both fleets.

Rick Whitehouse and George Jacobs, both visiting from Combs SC, sensibly decided to race with the smaller CI rig for the first race. Although he arrived with his own CI sail, Rick borrowed the new prototype CI sail which was being trialled at Bowmoor, produced by Hartleys with the same modifications as their new CII sail- full length battens only at the top of the sail, no skirt at the bottom and a square cut head.

Winds of approximately 20-25* mph made the first laps exciting, with George leading the fleet but being harried by two well sailed CIIs; Matthew English and Esther Heathcote, with Rick in 4th. The wind dropped in the last laps, giving CII's an advantage and George dropped to second, with Matthew first, then Esther, then Rick.

With the OODs permission, a rig change was allowed, but if made, the first race result would become DNF. Encouraged by Rick, George decided to change to CII, discarding his second place result for the first race. Almost predictably, this resulted in a return of the wind, with gusts hitting >30mph and sustained periods of 25+. Nevertheless, despite occasional capsizes, George won both remaining races with Rick second and Ellie Pickard third, only because a couple of capsizes allowed Rick to overtake her in both races. Well deserved prizes for all three, with Ellie first junior and first lady, Rick first CI and first geriatric senior and George first CII and first overall.

The prototype CI sail performed well, was easy to rig, easier to control and sail, Rick being the only Byte to stay "dry" all day!

Overall Results:

1st  Byte CiiGeorge Jacobs  (DNF)11
2nd  Byte CiRichard Whitehouse  ‑322
3rd  Byte CiEllie Pickard  ‑433
4th  Byte CiiMatthew English   1(DNC)DNC
5th  Byte CiiEsther Heathcote   2(DNC)DNC
6th  Byte CiiWilliam Hinnigan  5(DNC)DNC
7th  Byte CiSarah Hinnigan  5(DNC)DNC

* All wind speeds estimated and probably exaggerated.

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