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2.4mR Open at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by Megan Pascoe 10 Jun 10:07 BST 8-9 June 2024

Eric Twiname once described sailing racing as like 'Going up the down escalator', by which he meant that the boat that made the fewest mistakes got to the finish line first.

Frensham Pond is well known for its shifting and variable strength wind. This weekend even the locals were commenting on how easy it was to find a hole and misread the shift pattern, that is there wasn't one. It was far too easy to trip up and descend the order.

The International 2.4mR is probably one of the best classes to sail in these conditions so this was perfect for their open meeting.

There were two races scheduled on Saturday to follow the club afternoon pursuit race. Several local and visiting 2.4s joined in the pursuit race with 35 others and this made a good practice/warm up event.

Frensham's GP14 fleet were the race team led by a solo sailor Tim Deacon. The 2.4 had their standard windward leeward course which with vicious shifts, gusts and holes was rather a misnomer, but I don't think anyone actually had to tack on the downwind leg so the race team fulfilled their objective.

The pattern for the weekend was set in the first race with the top three boats being the top three at the end of the event. The conditions ensured there were lots of place changes and some very tight finishes. Megan Pascoe has won this event numerous times and started as she clearly intended to finish. Bruce Hill similarly has come second several times, but in the first race finished third to Kate Hedley with Kate Whyatt showing great local knowledge to finish fourth. Two of the visitors and past National Champions George Barker and Martin Pascoe were neck and neck for 5th and 6th.

The second race had ILCA sailor Matt Hill in the lead at the first windward mark, but the final finishing order was similar to the first race, which was a pattern for the weekend. The order at the first mark was really no guide to the final winner. Matt progressed through the fleet scoring 9,8,7,6,5 as he came to grips with the intricacies of this technical boat. There are at least 12 controls on the 2.4, as against 6 or so on the ILCA.

The race team ensured the second race finished in time for the fleet to head to a local Nepalese Curry House to discuss all the ups and downs of the afternoon.

Sunday offered more of the same with a stronger wind for the morning two races, which offered opportunities for the heavier sailors with Simon Meehan scoring a pair of thirds. The Notice of Race had been carefully worded so that even if you were unable to sail the Saturday you could discard both races and still gain a result from Sunday's racing alone. Ian Cambell and Lisa Skirrow took advantage of this.

Frensham has great catering so after a stop for lunch ashore it was out for the final two races. The final race 6 had the first three boats in the same order as in race 1, but the conditions and close racing ensured that the result was still in doubt up the final beat.

As expected the club keeps up the tradition of an Open Meeting Tea with cakes and sandwiches which even without the racing makes the event worthwhile. Why not find a 2.4 and join them next year?

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