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Spice Open Meeting at Datchet Water Sailing Club

by Andrew Mead 24 Oct 2001 20:16 BST

The final, 2001, Bank of Scotland sponsored Topper Multi Gala was held at Datchet on 13th - 14th October and saw five Spices joining the Boss, Iso, Buzz and Blaze fleets.

Saturday morning dawned warm but with not a breath of wind to disturb the flags. Eventually, a gentle breeze allowed the Committee to run the first of what was now only two races. Paul Clements and Nick Kirk started well and set the pace, to leave close a battle between the remaining Spices whose positions changing constantly. Chris Hames and Karen Humberston eventually took second place followed by Nick and Sara Williams in third.

Winds if anything dropped further for the second race, but again Paul Clements and Nick Kirk began to slowly pull away from the fleet, leaving a close race between the remaining boats. Paul finished just as the breeze died almost completely. Andrew Mead and Andrew Large drifted through to second, Chris Hames and Karen Humberston made third.

Sunday again started with little breeze, however the forecast promised it would increase so the race officer wisely decided to wait. Race three and four saw Spice National Champion Paul Clements and Nick Kirk undertake risky port end starts, to just cross the combined Boss and Spice fleets, before again pulling away to take first place in both races. There was a proper battle for second between Chris, Karen and Ian, Lisa. Chris and Karen eventually took second place in each race with Ian and Lisa in third. By race 5 the breeze had increased and the racing livened up! All Spices were close at the windward mark and then had some exhilarating reaches downwind in the gusts. Much was to be gained or lost on each of these legs. Chris and Karen were able to close in to be hot on the heels of Paul and Nick but an unexpected capsize on a downwind leg allowed Paul and Nick to take first. Chris and Karen were second with Ian and Lisa third.

All Spices had some entertaining sailing in race 6 as the breeze continued to build. Paul again took first place, but not before the Bosses predictably chewed him up and spat him out at the start. Chris and Karen came in second with and Jim and Lisa third a very tired third.

Prize for the farthest travelled went to Chris and Karen who made the journey from Lincolnshire. Many competitors had not attended a Topper Multi Gala before; all agreed it was well worth the effort despite the light winds earlier in the weekend. Many benefited from the help, advise and tuning tips freely offered by Paul Clements.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClub
1st362Paul ClementsNick KirkPortishead YC
2nd306Chris HamesKaren HumberstonCovenham SC
3rd364Ian CorrisLisa ChandlerCotswold SC
4th345Andrew MeadAndrew LargeNorth Devon YC
5th358Nick WilliamsSara Williams