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Grafham Open 2005

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31 eager teams arrived at Grafham Water Sailing Club over the weekend of 9th and 10th of April to be greeted by bright skies and a somewhat underestimated force five breeze. The agenda for the weekend being six races, the later three of which (Sunday) would constitute the fourth round of the hotly contested Holt National Silver Tiller Series.

Pistols were drawn early doors on Saturday by team Pinnell & Bax - Tom Stewart & Chris Downham 3655 who bulleted the first race. (Being the only team NOT to pay diligence to routine sail care by rinsing in the lake on route.) Thankfully the fleet were rewarded with justice when the wheels fell off just twenty yards after the finish line when they pissed it in!

Wobbly performances where exhibited again in races two and three as even the top guns in the fleet grappled to find their sea legs in the first weighty breeze since the winter break. The good ship Davo 3573 mastered the re-learning process best though and took both races followed by Smart Tarts - Pat Blake & Alex Jackson 3640 in the second, and Tom Stewart & Chris Downham 3655 in the third.

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Curry and generous lashings of social beers got the right side of most of the fleet on Saturday night and Sunday dawned with a well received, shifty force three to four. The first race of the day saw the fighting fit Mike & Jane Calvert 3626 sneak from third to first place on the run to the finish line from team Davo 3573, and John Bell & Graham Williamson 3652. In fairness, Tom Stewart & Chris Downham actually took line honours but were not rewarded for being premature out of the blocks (I know the feeling chaps!). The second race saw team Davo 3573 return the Calvert’s 3626 favour by overtaking them on the final planning reach to the finish followed by Duncan Salmon & Liam Dempsey 3644, and John Bell & Graham Williamson 3652 in hot pursuit.

A well earned extended lunch followed race 2 and while rough calculations revealed Glen Truswell & Paul Davies 3573 had the weekend covered, Sundays valuable Silver Tiller points were still in the balance. The final race saw Tom Stewart & Chris Downham 3655 and Glen Truswell & Paul Davies 3573 clear of the fleet at the windward. As the race progressed Tom Stewart & Chris Downham 3655 developed a controllable lead to win followed by John Bell & Graham Williamson 3652 who pulled through the ranks to overtake team Davo 3573 who’s priorities laid firmly with covering bases regarding the Calvert’s 3626 progress. At the finish line Judith Massey & Philip Dalby 3653 separated team Davo 3573 & the Calvert’s 3626 who finished in third and fifth places respectively.


Report: Glen Truswell
Photos: Tom Smith - www.davas2.co.uk/photos

See the Open Meeting results (2 days) or the Silver Tiller results (Sun only).

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