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Solo Open at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by Paul Trevan 22 May 17:20 BST 19 May 2024

On 19th May, as part of the Solo Southern Area Series sponsored by Magic Marine and Triggernaut, Frensham Pond SC staged their 2024 Solo Open Meeting for an entry of 26 including 8 visitors, a figure that hasn't been beaten for nearly 20 years.

The weather gods were kind, with the sky clearing by race time, leading to a very pleasant sunny, warm day with a reasonable Force 3 NE wind. Being Frensham, there were still substantial 45 degree shifts in this but the racing wouldn't have been interesting otherwise.

Race Officer Graham Howlett had a relatively easy task in the conditions, but an over-eager fleet combined with a short line resulted in a general recall for the first race. Following the imposition of the "U" flag, the fleet got away at the second attempt, albeit with two over the line, and Ian Matthews from Spinnaker, the current holder of the event pot, led at the first mark at the eastern end of the lake. Mark crowding led to some interesting situations and places changed considerably during the first lap, but Ian maintained his lead to the finish. Alex Butler from Hayling Island finished second only to discover that he had been OCS, leaving Simon Lomas Clarke from the home club second and compatriot Bryan Taylor third.

The second race was sailed back-to-back and Matthews again led from the start, with Ian Barnett from Chichester and Butler in pursuit. This time however Geoff Tait from Frensham, in only his second time in a Solo, got the shifts right on the second long beat and crossed the line third. It was Barnett's turn to be OCS so Tait was second followed by Butler and Taylor.

After lunch, with a slight shift in wind, a new course was set and the Race 3 began with congestion at the outer distance mark, which resulted in Matthews having to do turns. Tait led off the line, and held this place for the first lap only for Lomas Clarke to come through followed by Butler. Matthews wasn't deterred by his mistake and worked his way through to the lead, giving him an unassailable 3 bullets. Places changed on the last leg with Lomas Clarke dropping down the order and Tristan Harding from the home club, and still at school, making third, with Fraser Hayden from Papercourt fourth.

Race 4 started in less breeze with Butler and Barnett leading the way. With the dying breeze spreading the fleet out, by the end of the first lap these two had consolidated their lead, followed by Taylor and Simon Law from Frensham. Matthews retired from this one, missing the chance of 4 bullets.

So Matthews retained the cup he won last year, followed by Butler, Taylor, Lomas-Clarke and Barnett. Following the racing, the fleet enjoyed the famous Frensham tea, which was really what most of us came for in the first place.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClub
1st5977Ian MatthewsSpinnaker SC
2nd5781Alex ButlerHayling Island SC
3rd6000Bryan TaylorFrensham Pond SC
4th5258Simon Lomas ClarkeFrensham Pond SC
5th4892Ian BarnettChichester YC
6th5442Tristam HardingFrensham Pond SC
7th4489Geoff TaitFrensham Pond SC
8th5770Patrick WardBough Beech SC
9th 5693Fraser HaydenPapercourt SC
10th4300Richard WillettsBurghfield SC
11th5742Simon LawFrensham Pond SC
12th5942Duncan PeaceRYA
13th5129Tim DeaconFrensham Pond SC
14th5285Finlay Lomas ClarkeFrensham Pond SC
15th4730John BrookerFrensham Pond SC
16th5700Adrian LawFrensham Pond SC
17th4323Richard MooreFrensham Pond SC
18th4487/6442Richard HardingFrensham Pond SC
19th4758Geoff WoollenFrensham Pond SC
20th5631Les RadfordSpinnaker SC
21st5575Paul TrevanFrensham Pond SC
22nd4658Neil CarruthersFrensham Pond SC
23rd5921Steven WaiteHighcliffe SC
24th4222Richard DeanFrensham Pond SC
25th4685Martin KempFrensham Pond SC
26th 6091Jeff DoltonFrensham Pond SC

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