Tony Cooper won the annual season opener for both the Southern and Eastern Solo Series which took place on 9 March at Broadwater SC. The 25 entrants were greeted by a light to moderate breeze from the south west, veering later to the west.
After a clean start, Dan Goodman settled into an early lead. He led from start to finish of the race, increasing his lead as the race went on. Tony Cooper maintained second position throughout the race, while Chris Brown, who ended the first lap in fourth place, swapped positions with Godfrey Clark during the second lap to finish in third place.
By race two, the wind direction had become more variable and it was proving difficult to set a good start line. However, the race finally got underway after one general recall and a resetting of the first beat. This race was much more fun for the spectators as there were several changes in the leading positions.
Kerrie Forster was the early leader but he quickly lost pole position to Tony Cooper who went on to win the race. Mike Ball and Will Loy traded second and third places during the race, with Mike Ball taking the two points and Will Loy the three points.
The wind had veered further westwards, shortening the first beat. Once again, the wind shifted just as the race was due to start, necessitating a general recall and resetting of the line. Finally the race got underway with three sailors in contention for the overall trophy; Tony Cooper with a first and second place and Mike Ball and Dan Goodman, who both needed a first place to win.
Godfrey Clark took an early lead followed by Rob Wilder. Wilder overtook Clark during the third lap and stayed in front for the rest of the race, giving him second place overall for the meeting. Clark finished in second place in the third race, giving him third place overall. Will Loy retained third place throughout the race. Tony Cooper had done enough in the first two races to retain his overall lead, taking the Chessboard Trophy home with him to King George SC.
Despite the frustrating wind conditions, most entrants seem to have enjoyed their day’s sailing at this friendly, traditional sailing club. Solo - Results :
1st Tony Cooper King George SC - 4698
2nd Rob Wilder Tamesis SC - 4836
3rd Godfrey Clark Fishers Green SC - 4120
4th Will Loy Littleton SC – 4835