Results :: Hampton S.C. Open Meeting
|We arrived at Hampton Sailing Club on Saturday 1st October to compete in the De-May series vintage Merlin open. The rain was sheeting down and the wind was a fitful southerly, occasional gusts blowing across the river. |
12 hardy sailors, including 4 visitors set off down stream in the hope of finding a beat at the far end of Garrick’s Ait, where the river turns southeast. After negotiating the many holes and shifts in the breeze, it was Rob Cage and his crew who fought their way to the front. Followed by Alex Jackson and Rachel Alder.
After lunch the rain had stopped and the sun put in an appearance, the breeze had also strengthened a little, though it was also starting to shift into the southwest periodically, making it difficult to work out what was going on. Once again, Rob cage showed us a clean pair of heals, with Alex trying and failing to get the better of him.
By the time we got to race 3, the wind had more or less settled in the southwest and strengthened even more, the RO sent us off upstream this time. The less chaotic conditions made for a considerably more enjoyable sail. That man Rob Cage once again led from the start, only to lose out to John and Olivia Bell on the De-May handicap system.
So Rob won overall and John’s win in the last race just allowed him to pip Alex on count back.
The party on Saturday evening was made even more special as we celebrated the engagement of club members James Warren and Gina Page. Champagne and Dark’n’Stormies flowed.
The forecast for Sunday’s Silver Tiller meeting had looked rather poor, 10 knots from the Northwest, dropping to 4 by midday. In the event, the breeze had enough west in it to make a reasonable windward-leeward course down stream, around the bend. The fleet of Merlins was strengthened to 16 by the arrival of some newer boats and we were all to be kept in order by on the water judge Chris Simon.
Before we could go round the bend, we had to negotiate a tricky short fetch upstream from the start line, where the wind petered out after about ten yards. Rob Cage, with his daughter Hattie, carried on where he left off on Saturday leading the fleet most of the way round. Once again chased by Alex and Rachel who nearly got passed him on the fluky run to the finish.
Given the forecast, the RO, Jane Chambers, was keen to get another race in before lunch. Following a recalled start, several boats fell foul of the black flag, including the top two boats from the first race. This left it open for Hywel Bowen-Perkins and Lucy Penwarden to cruise through to an easy victory, with Phil Dalby and Andrea Downham just managing to overtake John and Olivia Bell on the line to take second.
Coming into the final race after lunch, it was all to play for. The breeze was still holding up, though there were some sizable holes starting to appear in it.
Once again Hywel led from the off, building up a sizable lead. Only to fall into a deep hole in the wind on the second round. From here on it became a game of snakes and ladders, with Alex Jackson and then Rob Cage taking the lead, Only for them both to slide down a huge snake as Simon Girvin with Claudia Wheeler and Phil with Andrea came through in a fresh puff on the final run. Phil Passed Simon on the beat back but as the breeze petered out just before the finish, Simon nearly got through him again.
After this tense decider, Phil Dalby and Andrea Downham had done enough to win. Rob and Hattie Cage’s third in the last race put them in second, with Hywel B. P. and Lucy Penwarden in third.
Special mention should be made of the Race officer and her team, who did a fantastic job of keeping us sailing in the better breeze for as long as possible. At Hampton we owe a debt of gratitude to all the club members who help to make events like this run so smoothly, with their help with race management, catering and bar keeping.
|Vintage Open Overall Results: |
Silver Tiller Results: