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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

RS400 Trident UK Northern Tour at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club

by Dave Exley 2 Apr 16:08 BST 30-31 March 2024
RS400 Trident UK Northern Tour at Leigh & Lowton © LLSC

10 Race Sprint Bonanza!

Fourteen RS400s were welcomed at Leigh & Lowton by Race officer Gareth Williams and assistant Jen Williams. Gareth explained that with the approval of the fleet, he would try for five 30min races per day in a sprint format, but that in order to have a chance of completing this, we all had to be very good girls and boys and not have too many general recalls!

Race 1 got away on the second attempt after the enthusiastic fleet were general recalled. Oh, no, were the best laid plans of the Race office in vain?! A southerly F2/3 wind meant a short windward leeward was the order of the day, with each of the marks tucked closely into their respective banks! Ollie Groves & Esther Pankhurst (Beaver SC) lead from start to finish from Hamish Gledhill & Ross Southwell (West Riding SC) and Alistair Coates & son Tom Coates in third (Leigh and Lowton SC) in their vintage 25 year old boat.

Race 2 start and Louise Mckeand & Sean Ratcliffe (Leigh and Lowton) made a premature start at the committee boat end (notable due to their usual line shy, conservative tactics). Ollie & Esther controlled the race from the first mark with impeccable boat handling in the shifty light conditions, closely followed by Alistair & Tom and then a big gap back to Dave Exley & Nige Hall (Leigh & Lowton SC) in third.

Race 3 followed a similar format. Ollie & Esther took the win, Hamish & Ross second and Tom & Alistair were third.

Race 4: Hitting the left hand corner of the first beat paid off for Dave & Nige and Louise & Sean leading at the first mark in that order. Ollie & Esther soon overhauled them both and they finished in that order.

Race 5 and this time Hamish got the pin end and was looking good by the windward mark, however Alistair came off the committee boat end and managed to make better use of the shifting wind and was close on Hamish's heels. Once again Ollie & Esther showed their class and battled through to take the lead once again finishing in that order.

Wow, 5 races with immense concentration required and into the clubhouse for a well earned beer and watch the sun go down across Costa del Flash - Spring was finally arriving! Evening Entertainment (courtesy of Dave & Charlie Exley) took the form of a 16 to 1 combo eliminator won by, who else but the ultra-competitive Ollie Groves.

Uber early Sunday start after losing an hour in bed and the fleet were greeted by sunshine and a solid F4 easterly (Leigh and Lowton glamour conditions, straight down the Flash).

Ollie & Esther continued their domination from Saturday and were never challenged in race 6. Jon Heissig & Nicky Griffin came to the party with a solid second place and Tom & Alistair a consistent third. Hamish took his punishment with the only OCS of the event.

Race 7 got under way in a now strengthening breeze and nip and tuck at the front between Ollie & Esther, Alistair & Tom and Charlie Exley & mum Caroline Exley (Leigh and Lowton SC) snapping at their heels. Charlie & Caroline snook into the lead, but where eventually piped by Ollie & Esther who were taking no prisoners.

Ollie & Esther were now getting into their stride and pulled out a significant lead in race 8. Hamish & Ross and Dave & Nige battled for the scraps, with Dave & Nige just nipping past Hamish & Ross at the last leeward mark to claim the now "best of the rest" prize in second.

A big left hand shift 20 seconds before the start of race 9 caught many out and the fleet drag raced their way on a port fetch to the first mark, before a bias starboard reaching leg back to the leeward mark. Gareth & Jen in the OD boat who were all over the unfair consequences of this event and abandoned the race and rapidly reset the course getting the fleet away for a much fairer race.

Jon & Nicky battled it out in the downwind planning conditions with Hamish & Ross and Ollie & Esther for the glory, but once again it was the Beaver Beasts who took the gun and wrapped up the open with nine consecutive wins, and a well earned early shower.

Race 10 and the excitement was palpable as all knew that a new race winner was on the table for the "best of the rest" and the wind strength was peaking. The battle for second was on between Hamish & Ross, Dave & Nige and Alistair & Tom, all within 3 points of each other. Dave & Nige took the lead, but were being hunted by Alistair & Tom.

Meanwhile Hamish & Ross took a refreshing dip on a gusty gybe, putting them out of contention at the back of the pack. Alistair & Tom just had to hold onto second to beat Dave & Nige overall, but on the last leeward mark, a missing snapper caused the spinny downhaul to get trapped under the pole, and prevented them from dropping the kite unluckily allowing most of the fleet to pass them and handing second overall to Dave & Nige.

So Ollie & Esther were worthy winners and kindly thanked Leigh for their great hospitality and Race Management. All agreed that the ten race format was a breath of fresh air and looked forward to the next event on the Northern Tour at the new venue of Hollingworth Lake on Saturday 13th April.

Trident UK Vouchers were won by:

£20.00 Mark Dinsdale & Ness Evans (Leigh and Lowton SC)
£15.00 Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell (West Riding SC)
£10.00 Louise Mckeand and Garry Knott (Leigh and Lowton SC)

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1st1526Ollie GrovesEsther ParkhurstBeaver SC111111111(DNC)9
2nd1460Dave ExleyNige HallLLSC434255‑624130
3rd498Alistair CoatesTom CoatesLLSC323533345‑931
4th1511Hamish GledhillRoss SouthwellWest Riding27242(OCS)532633
5th1502Jon HeissigNicky GriffinLLangorse SC68‑9642453341
6th1191Lou McKeandSean Ratcliffe / Gary CoopLLSC946384‑1088555
7th1461Charlie ExleyCaroline ExleyLLSC5‑118898277761
8th1524Martin SpencerAnna WalshLLSC109‑119661166467
9th1544Chris LarrAbigail LarrDraycote Water SC8‑10710798910270
10th1396Mark DingsdaleNess EvansLLSC‑1155111177109873
11th1427Carl WhiteheadBen WhiteheadYorkshire Dales SC761071010911(DNF)DNC85
12th517Max BurrowsAmy BurrowsRutland SC131214141311121211(DNC)112
13th1029John Cunningham Carsington Water SC1213131314(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC125
14th1103Howard GreenIan RitchieLLSC(DNF)DNC121212DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC126

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