Banbury Open 2008

The second Open of the Midland Series saw 17 Merlin Rockets gather at Banbury SC on a rather grey day with a ENE wind of some 18 knots spiced up by some extremely strong gusts which allowed the PDO managed to set a memory challenging course around all eight buoys.

The fleet got away cleanly in the first race with Still Not Over (Matt Biggs & Rob Kennaugh) getting a good start to lead around the windward mark and then held this lead for the remainder of the race, opening out a good distance on second placed Carbonator (Steve & Gill Leney). Third place was closely fought over by Headcase (Tosh and Andy Maddison) and Autumn Gold (Mike Ainslow & Liese Scott) with Headcase winning out in the end.

In the second race again the Still Not Over team were first to the windward mark closely followed by Headcase, Carbonator, Smoked Salmon (Julian & Sam Harms) and Steppenwolf (Dave Fowler & Amy Gardner). This was as close as the following pack got to the leader who sailed a race of his own to the gun. Behind him, Headcase and Carbonator fought it out for second place until Carbonator succeeded in getting past on one of the spinnaker legs and held on to take second place from Headcase in third and Smoked Salmon fourth.

After an ample lunch during which Still Not Overís helm and crew, having won the day, were seen to liberally top up their liquid levels, the fleet went out again in a slightly reduced wind which had gone a little more northerly. Despite helm and crew in Still Not Over swapping roles, they were still first to round the windward mark from Carbonator, Headcase and Autumn Gold. Still Not Over was closely pressed by Carbonator for several laps before managing to power away on one of the spinnaker legs by going lower after rounding the mark so that they got into the wind earlier. Needless to say they went on to take the gun from Carbonator in second. Third place was hotly contested by Headcase and Autumn Gold with Headcase just winning out at the last buoy before the finish.

Report: Richard Turner
1st 3665 Still Not Over, Matt Biggs & Rob Kennaugh (Blithfield) 2pts
2nd 3639 Carbonator, Steve Leney & Gill Leney (Blithfield) 4pts
3rd 3650 Headcase, Tosh & Andy Maddison (Banbury) 6pts
4th 3674 Autumn Gold, Mike Anslow & Liese Scott (Midland) 8pts
5th 3518 Smoked Salmon, Julian Harmes & Sam Harmes (Midland) 9pts