With 57 boats coming to the start line, this was Frensham’s largest open class event for forty years. The fleet filled the water in spectacular fashion for a four race series complimented by a force three breeze from the lake’s best north east quarter.
The fact that it was also cold and wet didn’t seem to register with the 114 individual competitors and over 100 helpers and supporters. Thirty of the crews were visitors - furthest travelled being one crew from Devon and another from the East Coast with almost every other Southern Area Cadet club represented. With a fleet this size competition was close quarter, fierce and often vocal with just enough breeze to produce the odd capsize.
The series rapidly developed into a three-boat tussle with only a single point separating the first three crews at the end of the day. Sophie Dingwall & Josie Gummer: Billie Quinlan & Gilly Makepeace: Joanna Freeman & Liam Pardy were to make a tense three way battle right to the final finish in which any of the crews could have taken the trophy. At the end it was Dingwall and Gummer first by the one point, with Quinlan and Makepeace equal points with Freeman and Pardy, but second on discard.
The day’s first race went to visitors William Kennedy & Loni Lilenthal from Corithian Otters, but the two were unable to build on this good start and finished the event in fifth place. Although this was a day for visiting crews, Frensham’s top pair: Sara Underwood and Matthew Shorrock, with a first and a second were always in contention but missed out narrowly with a ninth place in Race 1, plus a tenth discard.
Although the organisation afloat and ashore was stretched to the limit everything went seamlessly to plan. Good wind and courses on the water and great food ashore were all the competitors needed. As one young helm was overheard to say to his crew in the changing room. 'This is just like a big championships'.
At the end of the day, delighted club Commodore, John Townsley paid tribute to Frensham Cadet Captain Neil Hardie and race officer Chris Ellis as well as Jane Marriott and her kitchen team. He also reminded competitors of how much they all owed to the help and support of their parents. Cadet - Final overall leading positions
1st Sophie Dingwall and Josie Gummer (Fisher’s Green SC) 7pts
2nd Billie Quinlan and Gilly Makepeace (Royal Corithian) 8pts
3rd Joanna Freeman and Liam Pardy (Parkstone) 8pts
4th Sara Underwood and Matthew Shorrock (Frensham) 12pts
5th William Kennedy and Loni Lilenthal (Corinthian Otters) 14pts
6th Alex Young and Jack Hardie (Frensham) 20pts
7th Rebecca Longman and Alex Corby (Fisher’s Green) 21pts
8th John Page and Alex Page (Waldringfield) 21pts
1st Under 13, Mary Henderson and Rachel Thomas (Tamesis)
1st under 14, Abigail Croft and Katie Hinde (Frensham)