Results :: Hampton S.C. Vintage open - De May
|Following a week of bright sunshine and steady easterly breezes, the day of the Hampton vintage Merlin Rocket open meeting dawned murky and airless. 16 dauntless crews chatted and drank tea during an hour's postponement, while the breeze mounted until it reached a light and fitful easterly. |
Oddly enough, it was barges that dominated the first race. Simon Girven and Claude Wheeler opened up a narrow lead from the start. Chased by Alex Jackson and Rachel Alder and Stuart Jenkins crewed by Nicola Scaddon. The first barge made it's appearance just after the halfway point, when it forced Girven/Wheeler into a windless patch in front of the club house, allowing Jackson/Alder to take the lead. This only lasted until they were approaching the final buoy, when a second barge forced them wide of the mark and allowed Jenkins/Scaddon to round first and build a large enough lead to win on handicap. Just after the leaders finished, the breeze shifted 180 degrees and piped up, accompanied by the arrival of the sunshine.
After a tasty lunch, the fleet went out to enjoy the pleasant south westerly. Phil Dalby and Suzi Bell lead from the start, chased by John Bell and Olivia Bell. These two boats stretched away from the rest of the fleet. Dalby /Bell forced Bell/Bell to do penalty turns when they attempted to pass down wind. With the bit between their teeth, Bell/Bell came back and caught Dalby/Bell port and starboard at the next windward mark. This wasn't the end, though, as Dalby/Bell completed their turns and chased down Bell/Bell, gaining an overlap on the final leeward mark and holding on to win.
Following tea, the wind had started to drop off. Several boats had a chance of taking the open. In the event, Bell/Bell fought it out with Jackson/Alder. Hywel Bowen-Perkins with Lucy Penwarden and Patrick Rayner kept them company on the way round. Jackson/Alder took the win from Bell/Bell, who later found out that they were only four seconds behind on corrected time.
With the sailing out of the way, we all adjourned to the bar to enjoy the famous Hampton curry take away and not enjoy the rugby, many Dark'n'stormys were needed to come to terms with this.
By Phil Dalby