Shoreham Open 2003

This years Shoreham Open drew 32 keen 'Rocketeers' down to the sunny sea side town to enjoy some real sea sailing. Unfortunately due to the bout of high pressure systems the wind was to prove light and fluky all weekend, potentially this would be good practice for our forthcoming nationals at Abersoch, renowned for such conditions.......hummm.

The first race got underway in 3-4 knots with flat calm seas, race leaders Simon Blake and Linton Jenkins managed to sniggle away from the pack with Will Rainey crewed by Jennie King chasing hard closely followed by Phil King and Kev Driver in third.

The wind abated even more and with the tide strengthening it would prove difficult to even complete the course. By the windward mark the race was lead by Will Rainey with Blake third and Ross Jackson crewed for the first time by Jenny Hammond in second, all sporting their new Easy Roller design Merlins and P&B sails. Eventually just 15 of the fleet finished with Blake taking poll after passing both Rainey and Jackson on the run, Rainey finished second and Glen Truswell third in yet another Easy Roller boat kindly lent out by a posh Brummy, (cheers Jim Bob).

After a stressful days yachting everyone took time out to enjoy a relaxing evening on the club lawn with a BBQ while sampling some fine local ales. With the blisteringly hot weather a large contingency took the advantage to sleep out under the stars and discovered what under-covers should really be used for.

Sunday came, but the traditional sea breeze didn't, and there would be nothing to blow those hangovers away. Thankfully conditions had improved slightly with a steady 5-6 knots coming from the SE. This time it was to be Glen Truswell crewed by Tom Perkins who were to lead the first lap, seeming to find more and more pace in this unfamiliar boat as the weekend progressed. It was, however, the lightweight crews of Rainey and Blake that squeezed their way through to the front finishing respectively just in front of Truswell. Further down the fleet Phil King and local sailor Will Warren were securing themselves a top 5 position with consistently good results, hard to do in such conditions were tactics rather than boat speed were the major factor..

It was now all down to the last race between Blake and Rainey to battle it out for the Silver Tiller points. It was to be Rainey the lead at the first mark with Simon Blake second and his father Pat in third. Eventually though it was a two horse race with Rainey and Blake (Jnr) literally drifting side by side over the finish line. However, only one gun was sounded and it was soon discovered that Blake had been OCS, leaving Rainey with a lower discard to win the weekend.

Next year we hope for a return of our traditional force 4 and large swell if not only to reward those that travelled from afar to show their much appreciated support for the club, notably Whitworth and Winder from Hollingworth lake who finished sixth and seventh respectively.

Alex Jackson

See also:
Check out the full results here
Yachts and Yachting have a (very large) photo of Will and Jennie, concentrating hard!