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Solo Open at Broadwater Sailing Club

by Alex Beard 7 Apr 06:44 BST 23 March 2024
Broadwater Solo Open 2024 © Andy Wheeler

Eleven Solos gathered at Broadwater Sailing Club for the 2024 Southern, Eastern and Thames Valley series opener.

Race 1 - With sunny intervals and a building wind from the NW the first of two morning races got under way. Papercourt's Nick Charles and Tamesis' Joe McLaughlin made the best starts and whilst the chasing pack chopped and changed, they held their ground for a 1-2.

Race 2 - After a brief turnaround, 10 boats competed in the second race which saw more unpredictable shifts challenging the sailors, including one major gust mid-race which caught out several boats. Once again Nick lead from the front, though this time it was Littleton's Simon Derham who battled through the pack to pick up second.

Race 3 - After a course change to accommodate a last minute wind shift to a westerly, the third race got under way. This time it was Littleton's Steve Jones who took the initiative in the first lap before being caught by Nick on the second lap. Conditions proved increasingly challenging for but, all amongst several capsizes and retirements, it was Bough Beech's Patrick Ward who secured second place behind Nick.

Race 4 - Nine boats contested the final race which, with improving weather and easing winds, was a closer contest. Tim Lewis (RYA) led from the outset, closely followed by Fishers Green's Godfrey Clark and it stayed that way until the last lap, when Nick came through to secure second of the eight that finished.

After a count back, it was Godfrey Clark who took third; Tim's first place in the last race helped him secure second overall, but the clear winner on the day - with consistently impressive results throughout - was Nick Charles who now gets his name immortalised alongside other Solo legends on the Chess Trophy.

Overall Results:

1st - Nick Charles, Papercourt
2nd - Tim Lewis, RYA
3rd - Godfrey Clark, Fishers Green
4th - Patrick Ward, Bough Beech
5th - Joe McLaughlin, Tamesis
6th - Simon Durham, Littleton
7th - Steve Jones, Littleton
8th - Andy Jones, Burghfield
9th - Nigel Bird, Tamesis
10th - Alex Beard, Broadwater
11th - Nick Piahills, Fishers Green

More Andy Wheeler photos can be found at

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