Ritchie Bailey nails yet another start Pic © Mark Green 2015
Competitors at this year’s Snowflake series have been in Goldilocks mode for the series thus far with either too much breeze or not enough with the weather gods leaving it until the final day to serve up conditions that were “just right” with the warmest day of the year and a pukka force 3-4 from the southwest. Race Officer Andy Conway sent the fleets around a modified “M” pattern course that delivered a good mix of legs. For the Fast Fleet the battle for the series chocolates was a close one with the top three places separated by just 4 points.
From the gun the rest of the fleet were shown a clean pair of heels by Fireballs of series leaders David Sayce with a subbed in crew deputising for Fiona and CYC’s Andy Palmer-Felgate and Richard Anderton revelling in the “perfect for meatballing” conditions. Meanwhile, some solid sailing by Hayling’s Paddy Gamble & Anna Patient in their RS200 always kept the pressure on the Fireballs for the corrected time result. And indeed when the dust settled that’s the way it ended with Palmer-Felgate and Anderton first, Sayce second and Gamble & Patient 3rd.
The Medium Fleet were keen to get their race started perhaps a little too keen forcing a general recall. They managed to get away for the second time of asking with Emsworth’s Ritchie Bailey nailing the pin end set up yet another dominating performance challenged as ever for the top handicap spot by Felpham’s Guy Mayger in his Solo, with the next five boats through the line only separated by 27 seconds CYC’s Ian Payne coming through to clinch third.
The Slow Fleet Sally Lorimer & Pippa Jones from Warsash once again demonstrated their command over the Slow Fleet taking victory over Emsworth’s Alexandra Sosens & Julia Martin. The final race of the day and the series saw Lorimer & Jones secure the series win just one point over a perfect net points. Sosens & Martin again taking second place over club mates Georgina Cosena & Bella Coote who’s third was good enough to give them second place in the overall standings.
Meanwhile, the Medium Fleet squared up for another hotly contested race with less than a minute separating the top three boats on corrected time, Bailey once again taking first this time over club mates Jonathan Townsend & Barbara Langford in their 2000 in second and CYC’s Lucy Boreham in third.
Although his second in race nine was good enough to deliver the series to David Sayce he closed out in style with a victory over Gamble & Patient in second and Hamble River’s Nick Creek in his Blaze in third.
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Here's a little story for your Friday afternoon...it seems competitors at the 49th Semana Internacional del Yachting held at Mar del Plata got a bit of a surprise when the skipper of the submarine ARA Salta decided the best place to surface was in the midst of the Oppie regatta. Happily, the crew of the sub escaped without injury (never mess with a riled up Oppie sailor they bite) and no one was hurt in the incident, which was initially denied by the ARA despite extensive footage shot from the Safety Boats and elsewhere, although racing had to be cancelled as the sub took out a number of racing marks…
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In the fast fleet, David & Fiona Sayce showed that they are as quick in heavy weather as they are in the lighter going claiming first on the water and corrected time over William Warren & Mark Oakley with the first asymmetric Paddy Gamble & Anna Patient’s RS200 in third. Meanwhile the Medium Fleet saw Guy Mayger’s Solo claim the cookies from Jonathan Bailey with CYC’s Ian Barnett in third.
Race 8 saw the fleets further depleted as the conditions continued to deteriorate and the bar seemed a better prospect than the race course. With a slight adjustment to the second wing mark the final race of the day got underway into the first of a series of squalls which while taken on the beat passed without incident caused carnage downwind with places dictated by who could remain upright for longest.
Once again, Mayger stamped his authority on the Medium Fleet taking his second bullet of day over Ritchie Bailey’s Laser with Mark Harper’s graceful wipe out on the penultimate leg allowing Barnett through to again claim third.
In the Fast Fleet, series leaders Sophie Mackley & James Warren were back to winning ways in their Merlin relegating over Gamble & Patient while another Merlin pairing in the shape of Hayling’s Dalby & Carroll took third. With just one more weekend’s racing to go it’s still all to play for with just 3 points separating the top three in the Fast Fleet with the Medium and Slow almost as tightly packed.
BTW we don't have any pics from this w/e but if you want to have an idea of what it was like riding with Fast Fleet leaders Sophie & James follow the link below (warning if you have a sensitive disposition turn the sound down!)
Ride the Black Pearl
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The page for the 2015 Solo Open is now up and running follow the link below for the Notice of Race Sailing Instructions and Entry Form.
Solo Open Information
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“Not much went down to Spain beat about 500 other kids collected some Prizes came home”. CYC’s Oppie Queen Julia Mellers forsook the chilly weather and headed for the Costa Brava and the 26th Palamos Trophy regatta which forms part of the Oppies Nations Cup series. Julia led a 20 strong GBR contingent to do battle with 530 sailors from around the world claiming 3rd overall. Arthur Fry also put up a good showing taking a 9th to add to his win in Vigo in November.
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The Chichester Harbour Race Week (the new name for Fed Week) website is now live follow the link below for all your Race week info.
Race Week Info
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