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Firefly Open at South Staffs Sailing Club

by Chris Kameen 29 Apr 07:46 BST 27 April 2024
South Staffs Sailing Club Firefly Open © South Staffs Sailing Club Media

A nice shifty force 2 gusting 3 (occasionally 1) out of the north greeted the fifteen entries for the South Staffs Sailing Club Firefly Open.

This was a well travelled fleet with visitors from all over the country joining the local boats including the club owned fleet which was great to see and we were treated to some awesome close racing. Speaking to Bill Bradburn, the race officer after the event - he was amazed at how close the racing was with never more than 7 minutes covering the fleet over a 1 hour race, he said there was place changing throughout each race and throughout the fleet.

The first race saw Jenny Smallwood and Phil Aldhous pull out a lead chased by local sailors Mike and George Senior, a bit further back in 3rd Poppy Armstrong and I were doing our best to try and catch up having slowly worked our way up from 6th at the first mark. I think this was the first fleet race that we've seen two Ovington boats on the water at the same time (more than 10% of the fleet!! ;-))

Lunch ashore was brilliant - I had a really nice veggie dahl that sorted me out ready for the afternoon back to back races. Race 2 and 3 were sailed back to back in similar conditions. In race 2 a potential premature start saw Jenny and Phil return after the start and so were always on the back foot and had to fight their way through to a very respectable 5th. Meanwhile at the front it was a tight battle between Jamie Tylecote and Alice Lucy, Sam Bailey and Mia Hateley and ourselves with places changing regularly. At the finish Jamie made for the biased end of the line to hold us off. It was definitely close!!

Race 3 was another tight affair for us with a number of place changes between ourselves and Jamie, we seemed to be attached to each other by bungee. In the end we managed to force a mistake from Jamie and Alice during a close tacking battle which resulted in them taking a 720 penalty, and we were able to extend and take the victory on countback!

Prize Giving was held back at the club with plenty of cakes, tea and a few beers. A thoroughly brilliant Open Meeting. South Staffs really know how to put on a brilliant event. Thank you.

Overall Results:

1st Chris Kameen, Poppy Armstrong (West Kirby SC) (3), 2, 1
2nd Jamie Tylecote, Alice Lucy (Rutland SC) (5), 1, 2
3rd Jenny Smallwood, Phil Aldhous (West Oxfordshire SC) 1, (5), 4

1st Youth Mike and George Senior (South Staffs SC) 2, (9), 3

Endeavour Award: Ted Ashworth and Isla Armstrong (Netley and West Kirby)

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