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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 3 - LEADERBOARD

TridentUK RS400 Northern Tour at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Hamish Gledhill 15 May 17:22 BST 11-12 May 2024
Dave Exley and Nigel Hall - TridentUK RS400 Northern Tour at Yorkshire Dales © Paul Hargreaves Photography

There is a chance, albeit very very slim, that some people decided to stay at home and watch Eurovision rather than come to Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for the third leg of the TridentUK Northern Tour.

If this applies to anyone, you missed a treat. The forecast was for sunshine, which in itself is a bit of a novelty, but the light winds that were forecast developed into something far more interesting.

The fleet were briefed on Saturday morning in a gentle east/south easterly breeze and after smearing faces in anything that resembled sun screen, the fleet set out for the 11:00 start. After getting away cleanly, crews exercised their legs in the toe straps in what was feeling like a great day.

However, there were shifts, big wind shifts and no one was safe, and gains and losses could be big. Nevertheless, Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst (Beaver SC) were unfazed and led from start to finish. Behind, positions changed before Dave Exley and Nigel Hall (Leigh and Lowton SC) took control of second place, with fellow Leigh and Lowton SC sailors Louise McKeand and Sean Ratcliffe finishing third.

The fleet were quickly away for the second race, with pre-conceptions of favoured ways up the beat right out of people's minds. Ollie and Esther took the lead again which they maintained until the finish with Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell (West Riding SC) and Keith and Hannah Escritt (Yorkshire Dales SC) joining the battle with Dave and Nige for the placings. Dave and Nige secured second place ahead of Hamish and Ross.

After a trip ashore for lunch, the fleet were back on the water for races 4 and 5.

Whilst it appeared the wind had picked up a notch or two, the shifty conditions were now complimented by holes that increased the blood pressure for all involved. It's believed that perspiration was seen on Ollie and Esther's foreheads as they coped with the stress of the shift and holes, though that may just be a rumour as they were masters of the conditions, wining both races comfortably.

Behind them Dave/Nige and Hamish/Ross exchanged blows with a second and third each, but that was after battling it out with Louise/Sean, Keith/Hannah and Ben and Zac Williamson (Ripon SC).

Ashore the competitors soon forgot the shifts and holes and recalled some of the best sailing this season in terms of sun and breeze. After a few beers and a great takeaway from Rozis Curry House in Grassington, bed was calling. Unfortunately, there wasn't a repeat of the Northern Lights, which those that were there on Friday evening recalled as being spectacular. There was not one mention of Eurovision!

Sunday morning was a bit cooler with a fresher breeze blowing straight down the lake from the east. After a general recall the fleet got away at the second attempt and Ollie and Esther resumed their position at the front of the fleet.

After hopes that the wind would continue to build, at the end of the first lap the wind fans turned off with the fleet closing up. For a short moment the anemometer showed 'nil point' (last attempt to show homage to Eurovision- promise). After a shuffle of positions Ollie and Esther, managed to hold on to their customary position at the front of the fleet ahead of Hamish/Ross and Dave/Nige. The wind built again but shifted resulting in a one side course reducing overtaking opportunities.

The Principal Race Officer made the call to finish that race rather than letting the procession continue with no changes to the first three places.

After moving the racecourse to the middle of the lake, the wind was building nicely with the most consistent winds of the weekend, leaving the last two races to be sailed in sunshine and a decent F3/F4, possibly more.

After the fleet got away cleanly it was Dave and Nige at the front of the fleet, pursued by Keith/Hannah, Hamish/Ross and Louise/Sean. Where were Ollie and Esther? They were doing turns after a start line infringement, but after a few laps they were through the fleet and snapping on the heels of Dave and Nigel, who held on to take the lead. Keith and Hannah took third place.

The final race saw Ollie and Esther back at the front, being pursued by Hamish/Ross and Dave/Nige. The steady winds made for a great sail, but passing opportunities were reduced with the first three finishing in that order.

Ollie and Esther were convincing overall winners, ahead of Dave and Nige, with Hamish and Ross in third. A special mention must go to Junior Sailors Spirit Alderson and Finlay Cochrane from Yorkshire Dales SC who competed all 7 races in their first sail in an RS400.

At the prize-giving, there was a draw for Trident UK Vouchers after which Ollie Groves thanked Yorkshire Dales SC for a great event.

TridentUK Vouchers were presented to:

£20 John Simms and Matt Butler (YDSC)
£15 Erica and Ian Caswell (YDSC)
£10 Spirit Alderson and Finlay Cochrane (YDS)

More photos by Paul Hargreaves at

Next stop, the TridentUK Northern Champs at Tynemouth, 1/2 June, also part of the Rooster National Tour - online entry open now

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1526Ollie GrovesEsther ParkhurstBeaver SC‑11111‑215
2nd1430Dave ExleyNige HallLeigh & Lowton SC22‑32‑31310
3rd1511Hamish GledhillRoss SouthwellWest Riding SC‑53232‑4212
4th8Keith EscrittHannah / AliceYorkshire Dales SC‑44‑9443419
5th1191Louise McKeandSean RatcliffeLeigh & Lowton SC3‑54‑555522
6th1427Carl WhiteheadBen WhiteheadYorkshire Dales SC6‑9577‑9631
7th1518Ben WilliamsonZach WilliamsonRipon SC7‑86‑866732
8th1131Erica CaswellIan CaswellYorkshire Dales SC‑878‑987838
9th1345Spirit AldersonFinlay CochraneYorkshire Dales SC & Derwent Res96‑1069‑11939
10th1133Lester MulliganMichael HargravesYorkshire Dales SC‑10‑107101081045
11th532John SimmsMatt ButlerYorkshire Dales SC‑11‑11111111101154
12th868Steve RickwoodDavid CrabbeYorkshire Dales SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC121269

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