Earlswood Open 2005
Nearly All Over
Matt Biggs and Dave Crockett of Blithfield SC (3617) swept to victory in their Blue hulled Merlin “Nearly All Over” at Earlswood Lakes SC annual Open to consolidate their position at the top of the leaderboard in the Midland Circuit. Steve and Gill Leney also of Blithfield SC sailing Carbonator (3639) finished second and Dave Fowler and Daniel Greenwood in Steppenwolf of the RYA (3542) snatched 3rd place with a countback in the third race. |
Eleven boats gathered under a threatening sky in a 6-8 knot Northerly breeze. The sun illuminating Windmill Lake in glorious bursts, struggled to make an appearance and the first course was set for a start down the lake towards the dam. A clean start in the first race saw Matt Biggs lead into the windward first mark and a factor of the racing on the day was the speed of setting the spinnaker as fast as possible to take advantage of the short leg back across to the Eastern side of the lake to set for the run. At the end of the first lap Matt Biggs was clear ahead with Dave Fowler second and Mike Anslow third. The home boats were being led by Frank Fern in fifth, with Di Thornton in sixth and Ted Kington in seventh. After lap 2 Steve Leney had climbed to second, Richard Dee climbed to third, and Mike Anslow dropped to fourth. Richard Dee then retired with a rigging failure, leaving the rest of the race finishing as above.
Race two started with Dave Fowler and Frank Fern so keen to get a good start that they both jumped the gun and earned a recall horn for their troubles! Dave recovered more quickly than Frank being on the windward side of the field. Richard Dee and Chris Martin in Shooting Tsar 3517 were first to profit from the shortened first leg (a gybe mark had been added) and ended lap one in first position, with Matt Biggs breathing down his neck, and Mike Anslow chasing third spot. Home boats were being led by Graham Bentley and Jenny Rees in sixth spot, with Ted Kington and Sue Stewart in eighth, and Neil Cappell in the troubled “Smokin” back in eleventh, (retired in lap 5).
Matt Biggs hit the front in lap two and held it to the end of the race despite a titanic tussle for second and third positions between the two yellow hulls of Steve Leney and Mike Anslow. “Nearly all over” held the lead until the end and Mike Anslow held second spot until the last lap when Steve Leney managed to sneak past and steal second in a close finish. Richard Dee took fourth and Dave Fowler fifth.
After a hot lunch provided by the Earlswood ladies (many thanks girls) the crews contemplated the last race of the day.
Having done his days work, Matt Biggs packed his boat on the trailer and sat out race three. This left the field open for someone to notch a win and jump up the field. The race started cleanly and Dave Fowler led early on, no recall this time, but Steve Leney soon showed the fleet his transom and eventually with some fantastic use of his spinnaker cruised to a comfortable victory. Dave Fowler finished in second with Mike Anslow scoring his third 3rd. This left the judges with a countback for the third spot overall on the day, between Mike Anslow and Dave Fowler, with Dave Fowler getting the verdict with his 2nd spot in the last race.
Report: James Patterson
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