18 skippers turned out for the inaugural running of this championship, hosted by the Southend club at the Coalhouse Fort lake. The early morning rain cleared before the start to leave a clear sky, although the variable strength WSW wind forced a slightly compromised course of 3 beats & 2 runs to be set. Despite the wind swinging more westerly at times, the course remained unchanged throughout the day.
Following the briefing, the fleet was divided into 2 heats and the racing continued at good pace all morning. The competition was close, with tricky wind shifts causing moments of joy and despair as some tacked into a massive hole while others rode a huge lift to the windward mark. The last few meters often proved cruellest of all with several places being lost or gained right at the line. 5 races were completed before the lunch break at 1 PM, all won by the ever consistent Buzz Coleman.
Racing resumed at 1.30 with the wind now around 12 MPH and the occasional gust of up to 20MPH, fortunately, the sun warmed us enough to get striped off to tee shirts. The afternoon provided more close racing as a few of the early contenders faded whilst others found their stride. This closed the points table up considerably over the last 4 races, before looming black clouds suggested a prudent end to the days racing at 3.45.
It was encouraging seeing several new skippers entering their first open event & even more so to watch their performance improve as their confidence grew throughout the day. All our first timers said they had an enjoyable day, some even won prizes, with many commenting on the friendly atmosphere that the 65’s events always seem to produce. I think we even persuaded some to enter the nationals later in the year which cannot be a bad thing.
Buzz Coleman proved the class of the field, winning all but one of the races, but did give us mere mortals some hope by forgetting to switch his boat on before launching in one race. Dennis Graham took advantage of Buzz’s mistake to win that race & with it secured 2nd place overall by 1 point. Mark Hainsworth’s third place was well deserved for his consistency in his first open event, together with another first timer, Pete Mann, 3 points further back in 4th place, it looks like the Eastern District has some up & coming new talent in this class.
|1||Buzz Coleman||12||Coalhouse Fort RYC||7.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||9.0||1.0|
|2||Dennis Graham||23||Coalhouse Fort RYC||22.0||1.0||7.0||3.0||5.0||4.0||6.0||3.0||1.0||5.0|
|3||Mark Hainsworth||34||Alton Water RCSC||23.0||2.0||5.0||2.0||2.0||6.0||5.0||9.0||4.0||3.0|
|4||Peter Mann||67||Southend MBC||26.0||4.0||2.0||7.0||4.0||2.0||11.0||10.0||3.0||4.0|
|5||Brian Foskett||405||Southend MBC||32.0||3.0||4.0||4.0||9.0||15.0||17.0||5.0||5.0||2.0|
|6||Malcolm Schaffer||101||Coalhouse Fort RYC||36.0||6.0||3.0||8.0||12.0||12.0||4.0||6.0||2.0||7.0|
|7||Keith Gray||27||Coalhouse Fort RYC||48.0||8.0||15.0||6.0||7.0||11.0||2.0||8.0||15.0||6.0|
|8||Richard Williams||164||Alton Water RCSC||54.0||7.0||12.0||5.0||8.0||14.0||13.0||2.0||8.0||12.0|
|9||Lance Bennett||010||Southend MBC||55.0||5.0||13.0||15.0||11.0||3.0||3.0||11.0||13.0||9.0|
|10||John Moore||102||Southend MBC||60.0||4.0||11.0||10.0||10.0||5.0||8.0||14.0||12.0||19.0|
|11||John Lambert||877||Coalhouse Fort RYC||63.0||8.0||10.0||19.0||3.0||9.0||12.0||15.0||7.0||14.0|
|12||Mike Percival||159||Alton Water RCSC||63.0||7.0||9.0||12.0||13.0||16.0||9.0||12.0||6.0||8.0|
|13||Geoff Appleton||16||Coalhouse Fort RYC||65.0||3.0||8.0||16.0||16.0||8.0||15.0||7.0||12.0||12.0|
|14||Dave Bland||88||Coalhouse Fort RYC||67.0||5.0||14.0||11.0||6.0||7.0||10.0||16.0||14.0||17.0|
|15||Jim La Roche||90||Coalhouse Fort RYC||71.0||9.0||18.0||13.0||15.0||13.0||7.0||4.0||10.0||15.0|
|16||Jamie Cornwell-Stevens||700||Southend MBC||77.0||2.0||6.0||9.0||19.0||17.0||14.0||13.0||18.0||16.0|
|17||Chris Theodorou||873||Coalhouse Fort RYC||96.0||9.0||17.0||14.0||17.0||10.0||16.0||18.0||17.0||13.0|
|18||George Patten||95||Coalhouse Fort RYC||96.0||6.0||16.0||17.0||14.0||18.0||18.0||17.0||16.0||10.0|
This was the Southend club’s first ever endeavour at running an open sailing event & we are indebted to the Coalhouse Fort club for the use of their water, along with the enormous amount of help and advice given, without which this event would not have been possible. Above all we would like to thank all the competitors for sailing in such good spirits and making the event so enjoyable.
Report courtesy of Glenn Meekcoms; Photos by Angela Mears and Julie Stevens; Results John Newton
On behalf of the Eastern District Committee, we would like to thank Southend MBC for managing their first open event. They are to be congratulated on the way they coped with the the build up and the event itself and this should encourage other clubs to consider running open similar events.