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2019 P&B Streaker Southern Paddle Series

by Veronica Falat 10 Oct 2019 22:57 PDT
Veronica Falat just ahead of Ian Bradley during the K1 and Streaker Open at Waveney & Oulton Broad © Karen Langston

The Streaker Southern Paddle series, sponsored by Pinnell & Bax, had a very close finish this year. It kicked off with the open meeting at Tamworth SC in late March and 6 months later concluded at Island Barn Reservoir SC.

Along the way there was a total of nine open meetings, allowing for 27 races from which each sailor could count their best 9 results, and the final result wasn't clear until the final day.

Early leader was James Dawes (Redditch SC) with good results at Tamworth and Bough Beech but Neil Firth (Banbury SC) had won the Bough Beech open and went on to win all 3 races at Newhaven & Seaford and so was looking good by early summer. Then in July, further east, Veronica Falat made the most of the two open meetings in the Broads area, winning 3 races at Oulton Broad (her home club) and 2 on the River Waveney at Beccles.

Neil and Veronica didn't actually race against each other in this series until the autumn. The Haversham open provided some incredibly close racing and Neil and Veronica were consistently among the front-runners, fighting for the lead and at the end of the day they each had 1 more race win to add to their series scores. Veronica then raced a day later at Ouse Amateur SC but here it was Ian Bradley who gained the race wins.

By the start of racing at Island Barn a week later, Veronica had 7 race wins and Neil had 5. Everything depended on this final event which was sailed in a strong, gusty wind. Neil was on excellent form and won 2 of the races - but the overall Southern Paddle series winner was Veronica who won the race that Neil got disqualified in for being OCS. Bad luck, Neil!

In total, 40 different sailors competed in the series and 10 were qualifiers, having sailed in at least 9 races. The series should have had 11 open meetings but 2 (Burghfield and Redditch) had to be cancelled. Burghfield nearly happened but the wind was so strong that none of the boats could stay upright long enough to start!

At the final prize-giving the draw was made for the Pinnell & Bax sail. As sponsors of the Southern Paddle series, P&B provide a sail that can be won by any of the Streaker class members who have competed. The more races they've sailed, the better their chances of winning. This year the lucky winner was Phil Halldron of Downs SC.

The Southern Paddle series has an important role to play in the class as fleets of Streakers at clubs in southern England are still few and far between. It offers us class racing in a wide range of venues including two on the sea. The class would like to thank all the clubs involved and Pinnell & Bax for their support.

2019 P&B Southern Paddle Series Results:

Pos / HelmSail NoClubPts
1. Veronica Falat1972Waveney & Oulton Broad YC10
2. Neil Firth1977Banbury SC11
3. Ian Bradley2121Ouse Amateur SC18
4. James Dawes2112Redditch SC25
5. Mark Langston1920Beccles Amateur SC28
6. Chris Smith1844Island Barn Reservoir SC33
7. Pete Matthews1654Waveney & Oulton Broad YC42
8. Phil Halldron2109Downs SC49
9. Rupert Smith1681Newhaven & Seaford SC50
10. Jonathan Blankley1568Beccles Amateur SC78

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