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Javelin Inlands at Glossop & District Sailing Club

by Ian Winterburn 13 May 2003 08:17 BST

3rd to 5th May 2003

Sixteen competitors from throughout the UK attended the Javelin Inland National Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Of particular interest to the competitors was the arrival of a brand new boat, GBR 562 owned by Mike Pickles and Dick Fisher, the first boat from the new Class Builder, Jeff Green.

The first race started in a South Westerly force three, all boats made a clean start and headed off up the first beat. At the windward mark three boats had split from the main fleet led by Brian Dixon and Kathryn Partington from Richard Smith and Ed Dyson with Brian and David Earl in pursuit. Dixon / Partington maintained a lead over Smith / Dyson and the Earl brothers throughout the race with the three lead boats staying in close contact but never changing places.

The second race began in much the same conditions as the first with but with four boats making a break for the lead, this time the pack was led by Smith / Dyson with the Earl brothers, Dixon / Partington and Roger Partington and Steve Tinsley rounding the windward mark within 50 yards. Positions were held until the last lap when the Earls passed Smith / Dyson on the final beat to claim the second race with Dixon / Partington third and Partington / Tinsley forth.

After and excellent evening in ‘Last of the Summer Wine Country’ a group of in some cases very sore headed Javelin sailors took to the waters in winds which could at best be described as challenging. 180 degree wind shifts and gusts of up to force 5 looked as though they would be the norm for the day.

This certainly proved to be the case for the third race with Dixon / Partington making an early break followed by the Earl’s, Mike Pickles and Dick Fisher in the new boat and Smith / Dyson in forth. The downwind leg proved interesting when a force 5 gust engulfed the boats on the run causing a capsize to windward for Smith / Dyson and a capsize for Dixon / Partington whist avoiding Pickles / Fisher at the gybe mark. The first four boats were now well split with the Earls and Pickles / Fisher fighting upwind, a series of capsizes on the very shifty beat put Pickles / Fisher back behind Dixon / Partington and Smith / Dyson who had recovered from their respective capsizes. The race was to take a further twist when the Earl’s suffered a heavy capsize at the first gybe mark which was followed by another 2 and broke their 31 year old record of only ever having capsized twice in a single race . Dixon / Partington the revelled in the shifty conditions sailing into a commanding lead which was never threatened. The race positions ended with Dixon / Partington first, followed by Smith / Dyson, Pickles / Fisher and Ian Winterburn and Jo Allen in forth.

The forth race started in conditions which had worsened with more pronounced shifts from the lessening Southerly wind direction with Dixon / Partington sailing away from the remainder of the fleet. The windward mark proved to be very interesting with Smith / Dyson approaching on starboard when Partington / Tinsley capsized on approach to the mark in a large gust. The capsize gave no opportunity for the closely following boats of Pickles / Fisher and the Earl’s to take avoiding action with Pickles having to capsize on top of Partington / Tinsley and the Earl’s having to capsize behind. Smith / Dyson managed to sail clear of the carnage and into a conformable second place as the boats recovered. On the following run Dixon who now had a considerable lead capsized under spinnaker but recovered before the trailing boats caught up. Dixon / Partington continued to hold off Smith / Dyson until the penultimate reach when Smith / Dyson caught a gust and sailed past the now becalmed Dixon / Partington to take the lead and the race with the Earl’s in third and Pickles / Fisher who were showing the potential of their new boat in lighter winds in forth.

The now compulsory Glossop barbeque followed the forth race as it was decided that the conditions had worsened to a point where it was not possible to set a proper course and the fifth race was postponed until the next day. The evening again saw much drinking and the crowning of Dick Fisher as the Javelin fleet modelling champion, anyone who has ever played Pictionary with Play Dough will appreciate his skills.

The fleet awoke to a much steadier wind on the Monday morning, the only problem being that it was gusting a force 6. The OOD decided that the conditions were sailable however the fleet, seeing worsening conditions took the decision not to sail the fifth race.

The wind had dropped to a force five shortly after the scheduled start of race five and the fleet started to assemble on the slipway. The windier conditions suited Smith / Dyson perfectly as they sailed away from the line into a lead which was never threatened with the Earl’s, Dixon / Partington and Pickles / Fisher fighting for second place until Pickles / Fisher capsized at the leeward mark leaving Dixon / Partington and the Earl’s to continue to battle up to the line, finishing in favour of the Earl’s.

Race six left Smith / Dyson in a strong position with Dixon / Partington having to win the final race to retain their title as Inland National Champions. All appeared to be going in the favour of Dixon / Partington up the first beat and up to the first gybe mark when whilst leading from Smith / Dyson they caught a wind shift on the gybe and capsized on the mark leaving them in last place. Pickles / Fisher sailed past Smith Dyson on the downwind leg only to be passed again at the next gybe mark. The tussle for first between the two boats then went on for a further lap, eventually being settled in favour of Pickles / Fisher. Meanwhile Dixon / Partington had recovered well from their capsize and were the fastest boat on the water quickly getting back to forth place. On the penultimate lap the Earl’s passed Smith / Dyson who were now concentrating on the rapidly gaining Dixon / Partington. The race ended with the first race victory for the new boat of Pickles / Fisher from the Earl’s with Smith / Dyson holding Dixon / Partington off on the line.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail No
1stR SmithE DysonGBR 529
2nd (1st Mixed)B DixonK PartingtonGBR 559
3rdB EarlD EarlGBR 558
4thM PicklesD FisherGBR 562
1st Silver Fleet (5th)R PartingtonS TinsleyGBR 546
1st Bronze Fleet (7th)B FisherD MickleburghGBR 543

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