Whitstable Open 2005
“The best racing conditions in the 50 years I have been coming to Whitstable,” is how Alan Warren, the winner of the Holt sponsored Silver Tiller meeting on 25/25 June, summed up the weekend in his victory speech. With a bracing East North Easterly and some spectacular waves all the way from Holland, the 36 strong fleet enjoyed fantastic conditions.|
Saturday was a little too spectacular for some with a number of casualties in the Force 5 wind and huge seas. Alan Warren, crewed as ever by Liam Dempsey, won comfortably from Judith Massey and Phil Dalby. Judith has been honing her helming skills in the Solo class and it certainly shows. She was consistently fast all weekend. Third was Paul Davis and Chris Downham, Paul taking the tiller in the absence of his regular helm, Glenn Truswell, who was on Laser SB3 duty at Lake Garda. With the wind gusting to 30 mph the race officer, Nick Finlay, wisely sent the fleet ashore rather than risk more carnage.
Sunday dawned with 15 – 18 mph and a quieter sea. Warren took the first race from Pat Blake and Alex Jackson, with John Bell and Graham Williamson (who had blown their chances the previous day by dropping it in on the run) third. David Winder and Jilly Blake, who had scored 10 out of 10 for a most elegant pitch pole the previous day, won Race 2 from Massey and Bell.
A very weary fleet started the rescheduled race from Saturday. To win overall, Alan Warren had to make sure he stayed ahead of Judith Massey and he did such a thorough job on her that she lost second spot as well. John Bell won the race with William Warren second and Alan third.
So Whitstable lived up to its reputation of big breezes and big waves. The sun even came out for the prize giving. Nick Finlay and his team are to be congratulated on setting great courses and by the judicious use of the black flag being able to fit in three back-to-back races on the Sunday. All in all a wonderful weekends racing.
Report: John Cooper
Silver Tiller positions so far