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Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Hunts Sailing Club

by Simon Hopkins 3 Nov 2021 00:42 PDT 30 October 2021
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Hunts © Matt Hopkins

The weather reports in the preceding week looked so bad it was questionable whether this meeting would go ahead but with the worst of the wind pushing back to Sunday 9 visitors made the trek to Hunts for what was going to be a gusty and shifty open meeting.

For race one the Race officer obviously thought he need some onshore entertainment and made sure there was plenty of gybe's in the complex course that used most of the lake! With the start line using the race box on the spit as one end the only place to start was tight by the bank and Simon and Terry went battling for it. Terry tacked off short and hit the line at speed on the gun, but Simon held on for that extra few yards before tacking for the line, trading being a bit late for the windward advantage, with Jeremy and Bryan slotting in behind him. Up the first leg the fleet soon got to experience the massive wind shifts and changes in wind speed that was to be the order of the day with a few upturned hulls and Chris decided he had enough and went for an early lunch. Simon rounded first and disappeared in a ball of spray and extended throughout the race for the win. Behind Terry fought a rearguard action for a few laps before Jeremy got though and then had to content with the fast recovering Luke Lazell but this time prevailed to keep third place. The persistent award goes to Caroline who sailed home 5th despite multiple capsizes.

The fleet retired to the club for some warm food before venturing out for two back-to-back races. The wind was still swinging as badly as before and obviously having enjoyed the antics from race one the Race Officer kept the same course.

The start was almost a repeat of race one with Terry nailing the line on the gun but Simon was late having to avoid Luke on starboard. Terry reached the mark first and led off down the reach followed by Simon, Luke and Jeremy. By the second beat Simon did briefly take the lead by staying right by the bank but coming into the windward mark right was not the place to be and Terry slipped ahead again. However, down the reach the wind was up and Simon took the lead before the gybe mark and Terry dropped to second, which was soon third as Jeremy slipped through to chase after Simon. Jeremy kept the pressure on until getting stuck in a massive wind shift on the penultimate beat allowing Simon to take the win. Jeremy finished second and Luke passed Terry near the end for third.

With the win secured and carrying a shoulder injury Simon decided it was time for early shower leaving the rest to battle it out. Once again the consistent Terry took the shore end of the line with Jeremy following behind. Luke however started at the pin and this was to pay as he sailed on to round the windward mark first ahead of Terry. However down the reach Jeremy used his superior downwind speed to sail over the top of Terry and just got clear ahead at the gybe mark to take second. With his tail up there was no stopping Jeremy and on the beat when Luke tacked early he held on to hug the shore to get the nice wind bend which took him into the lead. Luke and Terry hung on for a few laps but with the wind dropping all the time Caroline soon sailed through the pair of them for second leaving Luke and Terry to come home third and fourth.

With two wins Simon Hopkins from Up River YC took the open meeting win ahead of Jeremy Cooper and Luke Lazell came home third ahead of Terry Hunt. The Lightning fleet now moves on to the traditional end of season Rum and Mince pies Meeting at West Oxfordshire SC on 13th November when the final Noble Marine Insurance sponsored Traveler's Series Trophies will be awarded.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3Pts
1st428Simon Hopkins11(DNS)2
2nd410Jeremy Cooper‑2213
3rd335Luke Lazell‑4336
4th438Caroline Hollier5‑727
5th226Terry Hunt3‑447
6th402Steve Hodgeson‑66511
7th407Bryan Westley‑75611
8th430Graham Lazell(DNF)8715
9th432Chris HillDNFDNF(DNS)20

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