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Fox's Marine and Country Alton Water Frostbite Series 2014 - Day 6

by Martin Pavey 13 Feb 2014 02:58 PST 9 February 2014

Planning for success - we at least got one race in!

The forecast for most of the UK over the weekend of 8th and 9th February was rather daunting but after an exchange of emails and a few phone calls, the decision was made on Saturday that Sunday's racing would go ahead as planned. This has been an exceptional Frostbite to date with no races lost; our part of the East Coast seems to pick up a favourable weather window every Sunday – this time we got what was promised - 25 knots with gusts of 30+ knots to add to the interest. After a sanity check that we had the required safety in place and could lay a course, the decision was made that racing would go ahead.

Rain and a 40 knot south westerly over Saturday night did little to raise enthusiasm for a day on the water but arriving to see the overflow car park in use with Junior sailors rigging their boats, gave encouragement to some of the regular competitors.

The lure of additional prizes for the most class starts did little to enthuse the OK fleet who were in the running for this new allocation of glassware and Fox's Vouchers, along with the Cadets. The only way back for the olduns in OKs against the younguns in the Cadets, is if a Cadet training weekend gets in the way and the OK fleet can balance their social life with their sailing.

A full house for the briefing and some last minute decisions to go/not go/re-enter as a Radial/ go early Valentine's Day shopping were made. 30 boats took to the water and of those 27 made it to the start line for the start of the first race. The committee boat had a wet ride out to the start, having a broken shear pin and being towed at some speed by a RIB. After a short delay to reposition the windward mark that was slowly coming back down the course, the excitement for the day got underway. The fleets hiding under the shelter of some tall trees and banking on the south shore had to be enticed to the starting area.

Race by race action highlights from the four fleets:

  • Surprisingly the Phantoms with their large rigs had a reasonable time in the conditions, the two leading boats swopping places around the course. The wind took its toll on the majority of the fast fleet with early baths (before getting ashore) being the order of the day. The first Phantom has consolidated his lead at the top of the fleet results but is catchable with only 8 points separating the first three boats and seven more races to come.

  • The Lasers ever keen, so keen that two boats re-entered the series to sail in Radials, made a surprisingly competitive start in the conditions, with all boats crossing the start line within seconds. A close-fought first few legs and then the gusts came in to play – where you were and how you handled them won or lost you the race. By the last lap the first two Standards were well ahead and showed their ability after years of coaching. No change overall for the series placing but things have closed up with 11 points separating the first three boats.

  • Noticeable by their absence were the OKs – who seemed to have made a collective gentleman's pact not to go out. It was their loss as some good racing was had at the front of the fleet by the Finns and Larks. The solitary RS200 followed them around and picked up points over those that didn't finish. Overall the winning Lark is pulling away in the series, with a close fought battle for second and third.

  • With all the stars in the Slow fleet out on the water they certainly put the older sailors to shame. Some unfortunate gusts coming through just before their start caused a few capsizes and rather impacted the one and only race of the day. Spinnakers were readily flown on the Cadets and they had very close racing with the Toppers. It was a joy to watch (from dry land and out of the wind). Ten points separate the first three boats overall and with some more discards and 7more races planned there is everything to play for.

All fleets sailed the set number of laps; the OOD decided that one race was enough punishment for the day with the majority of competitors having had at least one capsize and on finishing, sailors were greeted with 'AP over A'. There were no dissenting views from the competitors as the committee boat came ashore, so it appears the right decision was made.

More racing next Sunday with the first start at 11am. The plan is to run three races.

Please check the Centre website for the latest news should we have a challenging forecast again.

Race 11 Provisional Results:

Series position to dateHelmCrewClubBoat TypeR11Series Total Points
Fast Handicap
1Matt House AWSCPhantom114
2Pete KyneTom KyneBrightlingsea SCFireballDNC19.5
3Bob Portway AWSCPhantom522
4Ian Pavey AWSCPhantomDNC44
12Neil Collingridge Waldringfield SCPhantom296
Laser
1Graham Ireland RHYCStandardDNC23
2Ben Clegg Brightlingsea SCStandard330
3John Russsell AWSCStandardDNC33
4Matthew Aldous‑Horne  AWSCStandard246
12Freddie Chiddicks  AWSCStandard193.5
Medium Handicap
1Alan KrailingAnnie KnottWaldringfield SCLark116
2Harry PynnGemma CookWaldringfield SCLark731
3Ben AlexanderGemma ThompsonDeben YCRS 200DNC38
4Jerry Andrews AWSCFinn252
8Tom Branton Waldringfield SCLark366
Slow Handicap
1Archie PennHazel WhittleWaldringfield SCCadet1037.5
2Katie SparkLia FletcherWaldringfield SCCadet543.5
3Harry Wallhead AWSCTopper347.5
4Sam YaleHarry ChattertonWaldringfield SCCadet261
9Daisy CollingridgeHattie CollingridgeWaldringfield SCCadet181

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

Please contact the office or call 01473 328408 regarding any queries.

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