by Vikki Payne
The Ovington Inlands was the final event of the season and was held on the 5th-6th November at Grafham Water.
Fleet of 62 boats at Inlands
The jury was out as to whether the 29er fleet would be put into flights as they had been previously at a recent event, however Grafham Water Sailing Club took the risk to set a start line large enough for 62 boats. With a forecast of building wind this seemed optimistic, however the fleet took on the challenge and after a few general recalls and black flags, competitive racing took place.
Day 1 brought gusty conditions. However Ian Payne/Chris Berry just back from Lake Garda, pulled out a string of bullets to build a nice gap between themselves and the rest of the fleet in the first three races. Vikki Payne/Stephi Orton put a stop to the run of firsts in the final race of the day making the overnight results rather close between the top six boats. Saturday night was topped off by a live band and a show of awesome fireworks.
The forecast for Sunday was for gusts of 25 knots and with this event being a selector for the Transitional Training Squad everyone launched with eagerness and some anticipation.
Jack Hawkins/Chris Thomas were on fire placing two first and a second however, consistency was the key and with and Ian Payne/Chris Berry having no results out of the top five in all three races, they were clear winners with Ollie Cooper/James Poyner coming a solid second and Vikki Payne /Stephi Orton in third. Girl power worked well in the fleet with three girl boats in the top 10. Top juniors was taken by Matt Venables/Will Alloway in fourth (even with a chip missing from his left elbow) and second juniors were Team Loveridge in eighth leading on count back from new pairing Murray Hampshire/Hugh Ward in ninth.
Winners Ian & Chris
A big thank you to Grafham Water Sailing Club and Ovingtons for providing a perfect way to end the racing season. Let the winter training begin!