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Fox's Marine and Country Alton Water Frostbite Series 2014 - Day 2

by Martin Pavey 15 Jan 2014 15:06 PST 12 January 2014

The Great Northern Diver makes a guest appearance

The second of the 9 Sunday Fox's Marine and Country series was held on January 12th in pleasant weather conditions. If it continues to improve (as it has done) week on week then it will be sunglasses, shorts and sun cream before the last event on Sunday 2nd March.

Early arrivals would have seen some new faces around the water's edge, binoculars and cameras all set up to record the action. The Great Northern Diver, no not one of our Laser squaddies returning from his Sunderland training session, but a rare-ish bird in these parts which had been spotted and made an appearance on the water before rather accommodatingly moving away from the gybe mark when racing got underway.

With a series entry now standing at 94 (without the Diver) we have room for a few more boats (both ashore and on the water) and with the structure of the starts and fleet we have the flexibility to provide further class racing as necessary. A warm welcome to the Cadets and OKs from Waldringfield this week, while the Brightlingsea Topper and Topaz fleets appeared to be largely taking the day off.

As forecast the south easterly (a rarity in these parts along with the Diver) filled in to fluctuate between 10 and 14mph and then rather unexpectedly dropped towards the end of the racing day only to return with a vengeance along with rain later in the evening. A two beat, two run and one reach lap was set for all classes and the wind direction allowed for longer legs than usual, with the start being about as far away from the club as possible (nearly in Norfolk – "there be dragons"!) and the quote of the day coming from the new committee boat crew on the way out to the start "have we got enough fuel to get back?".

Race by race action highlights from the four fleets:

  • In the fast fleet the Phantoms were having to work hard to save their time over the usual fleet leaders, as the results show. The Fireball and Merlin enjoyed the benefit of the breeze in both races and even managed a dead heat for the last race of the day. Further back down the fleet it was 'bloody' close racing between the RS400s with a blood injury and subsequent retirement for one boat and a new crew being blooded in the other. A turnout of 12 boats for both races included some new faces out on the water with everything to learn from the hotshots at the front of the fleet.

  • A good turnout of 18 of the 23 Lasers entered made it onto the water. This week the increase in wind strength gave the Radials more opportunity to save their time on the Standards with a good mix of rig types in the top end results. The Laser fleet includes some very good sailors; youth, U21 and not so youthful but very well practised and gaining or not gaining the inside overlap at a mark could make or break your result. For the second race of the day the Lasers were the 'naughty fleet' and were brought back for a black flag start at the end of the start sequence and this changed the dynamics for all classes, as the Lasers then sailed through the slow fleet and mixed it with the fast fleet although being a lap down.

  • Close racing throughout the 18 strong medium handicap fleet was the order of the day with not a lot of distance between the leading Larks, RS200s, Finns and OKs. The request for a personal handicap for being an old guy in a blue (OK) boat was rejected out of hand – the caring race officer does try to minimise the number of marks per lap to make it easier for those with memory issues. There was a good mix of classes in the final results, so average weather generally reflecting performance on the water. The Larks especially enjoyed their second race with lots of room, due to the Lasers starting 6 minutes behind them and not three in front.

  • In the Slow fleet quality not quantity was the case with 28 boats last week from 32 entered and with a pleasant day forecast there was a surprising turnout of 16 boats. A substantial number of well-sailed Cadets had very close racing and were well placed in the results, with the Toppers only managing mid fleet placings. Should the Cadets continue to appear each week and sail this consistently, some changes in the overall standings might be seen.

In minimising the time between back to back races, while well intentioned and as currently practised, it does give some cause for alarm to those on the committee boat, so please be understanding if we miss the occasional boat or have a moment of dyslexia – fear not as your finish time is voice recorded and can be rescued from the archives. So much for technology... with the hooter battery going flat for the second start sequence and the back-up air horn failing, a 'thank you' from the committee boat to the fleets for their understanding and observance of the flags, or was it the Race Officer's loud hailer and shouted voice commands they were following?

More racing next Sunday with the first start at 11am. Good sailing weather has been requested and perhaps we will have the Great Northern Diver for company again.

Day 2 Results: (races 3 & 4)

PosHelmCrewClubBoat TypeR3R4
Fast Handicap
1Pete KyneTom KyneBrightlingsea SCFireball11=
2Matt House AWSCPhantom34
3Mike Bees Brightlingsea SCRS 30046
6Dan WilletPete NicholsonBrightlingsea SCMerlin21=
Laser
1Graham Ireland Royal Harwich YCStandard76
2Rheanna Pavey AWSCRadial31
3Matthew Aldous‑Horne AWSCStandard24
4John Russell AWSCStandard69
7Thomas Scott Brightlingsea SCStandard12
11Ben Clegg AWSCStandard43
Medium Handicap
1Harry PynnGemma CookWaldringfield SCLark21
2Alan KrailingAnnie KnottWaldringfield SCLark12
3William TaylorFiona MulcahyAWSCRS 200114
4Ben AlexanderGemma ThompsonDeben YCRS 2001016
8Tom Branton Waldringfield SCLark43
10Robert Deaves Deben YCOK36
Slow Handicap
1Sam YaleHarry ChattertonWaldringfield SCCadet24
2Katie SparkLia FletcherWaldringfield SCCadet10=5
3Matthew Smith AWSCTera Pro12DNC
4Archie PennHazel WhittleWaldringfield SCCadet46
5Daisy CollingridgeHattie CollingridgeWaldringfield SCCadet92
11Alex PageAaron ChadwickAWSCCadet11
14Lulu KnottDaisy NunnAWSCCadet33

Full race by race results and overall to date can be found at www.altonwater.co.uk/index.php?pid=167&series=346&full_series_fleet=346

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