The Dragon Force 65 Challenge in aid of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust took place at Coalhouse Fort on Sunday 15th March 2015. It was an overcast day with outbreaks of rain and a strong bitterly cold North North East wind. However, 17 intrepid Dragon Force 65 skippers from three clubs, turned out to support the event and donate in excess of £200.00 to the charity.
Race Officers Geoff Appleton and John Newton, assisted by Graham Bartholomew set a windward/leeward course, which in the words of one skipper, was a challenge, especially as it was the first time a number of the competitors had entered an open meeting. Having said that, everybody behaved themselves and whilst there were some incidents on the water, all skippers completed their penalty turns without question.
There was very close racing at times and initially it looked as if was going to be a close fought event between three skippers. Unfortunately Pete Hutchings from Maldon, who had three good races to start with suffered a severe ingress of water which caused him to withdraw from the event at an early stage. This left the door open for Angela Mears from Southend and Graham Brooker from Coalhouse Fort to fight the the top places. Glenn Meekcoms who had a poor start to the event, made great come back by winning the last four races on the day but too late to affect the top two positions.
As a consequence, congratulations to Angela Mears who went on to win the event with 17 points, followed by Graham Brooker second on 21 points and Glenn Meekcoms a close third on 22 points.
A special mention should be made to one other skipper, namely Lesley Parks, who has only been sailing RC yachts for six months and did exceeding well to finish in fifth place – we wish her well in her future endeavours.
|2||Graham Brooker||41||Coalhouse Fort||21.0||2.0||6.0||1.0||3.0||1.0||1.0||3.0||3.0||12.0||4.0||3.0|
|7||Ray Bland||92||Coalhouse Fort||53.0||8.0||3.0||13.0||5.0||5.0||5.0||9.0||5.0||8.0||6.0||8.0|
|9||John Weedon||70||Coalhouse Fort||78.0||13.0||8.0||11.0||7.0||10.0||15.0||7.0||9.0||9.0||8.0||9.0|
|10||Dave Bland||488||Coalhouse Fort||89.0||16.0||18.0||10.0||18.0||13.0||8.0||10.0||10.0||10.0||7.0||5.0|
|11||Malcolm Schaffer||101||Coalhouse Fort||90.0||6.0||11.0||6.0||6.0||3.0||4.0||18.0||18.0||18.0||18.0||18.0|
|15||Ian Kemp||590||Coalhouse Fort||134.0||18.0||18.0||16.0||11.0||12.0||10.0||13.0||18.0||18.0||18.0||18.0|
A number of skippers experienced various failures on the day and had to withdraw but overall the event was considered a great success and the contribution to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust made it all worthwhile.
Our thanks to all the competitors who participated and donated money to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust.