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Solo Open at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by Nick Marden 26 May 13:55 PDT 25 May 2019
Steve Eve leading the fleet during the Bough Beech Solo Open © to James Maynard

After windless weekends and cancelled Opens around the country, the Bough Beach race team watched Windguru predictions for 25 May anxiously as it promised anything between 4 and 14 kts.

In the event it compromised somewhere in the middle but still gave the Race Officer Dave Roberts a headache. The wind came from the west north west across the lake, an awkward direction, and continued to swing throughout the day. Eleven visitors made up almost half the fleet racing for the Bough Beech's "Southern Quaich" Solo trophy.

The first race got away on a trapezoid course without problem. The breeze at the first mark under the shore went soft and unpredictable and it paid to get ahead of the herd. Steve Ede (Ardleigh SC), no stranger to this event, soon hit the front and pulled out a big lead, followed round by Andrew Boyce (Papercourt) and Tim Lewis (RYA). Fraser Hyden (Papercourt) and local hero John Reed worked their way through the fleet to finish 2nd and 3rd after three laps.

The wind went left before the start of the second race resulting in a General Recall, but the fleet got away at the second attempt. Ede led from Jarvis Simpson (Brightlingsea) for two laps of a shortened race. Reed, who had been lying 3rd strayed into a calm patch on the final run, losing several places and Lewis came through to make up the podium.

After lunch and time to admire the scenery, the third race started with another General Recall and a black flag. Again Ede and Lewis hit the front and were never passed. Tim Deacon from Broadstairs held 3rd for a lap but Boyce came through to take his place.

The final race of the day started with the wind backed around almost to south which meant the only way across the start line was on port. Those that broke away in clear air were able to fetch the windward mark without tacking. The wind continued to back, resulting in a drag race with only a short beat between marks 1 and 2. Ede, who could have taken a discard, decided to stay out and play for four of a kind which he duly achieved. He was followed home by Hyden and Lewis.

So overall it was 1st Ede, 2nd Lewis, 3rd Hyden, 4th Simpson and 5th Reed. Our thanks go to Dave Roberts and his race team, and also to Chichester Gin who continue their generous sponsorship of the Solo Southern Series. All three bottles were won as spot prizes by members of the Bough Beech fleet.

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