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Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

Cadet Alf Simmonds Trophy 2022 sponsored by Vaikobi at Grafham Water Centre

by Neil Collingridge 28 Mar 23:05 PDT 12 March 2022

After a residential training camp the weekend before, the UK Cadet Class gathered again at Grafham Water Centre for the 2022 Alf Simmonds Trophy on 12th March. This event is the first of the Spring Series from which the GBR Team for the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia will be selected.

The weekend was billed as a day of training followed by a 4 race series on Sunday but some judicious planning of the NOR allowed the Race Committee to swap the days around if the forecast looked like we would otherwise lose the race day. On Thursday evening that's precisely what the forecast was predicting so that was the action taken.....but Sod's Law being what it is, within 2 hours of the decision being communicated the forecast had flipped on its head with Saturday looking quite fruity.

So the fleet gathered on Saturday morning to look out over a Grafham Water covered in white horses but importantly still sailable even if the conditions were certainly looking favourable for the heavy weather experts. Grafham once again was set to live up to its reputation with the Cadet Class as one of the windier winter venues, and certainly one of the coldest.

Race 1 was off with a clean start - a trend continued through the weekend. Were the sailors just keen to not hang about too long in the cold or were there some signs of rustiness after the winter? It was immediately clear that things would become attritional and staying upright was the way to the front of the fleet. Mish Collingridge and Rhona Enkel fought their way through after rounding the windward in around 5th and took up position at the front which they held to the finish ahead of Toby Bush and Kemmel Thorogood (2nd) and Tom Walker and Ava Stoddart (3rd). First silver fleet boat was Amelie Whitehouse and Maddy Sherwood who were 9th in the main fleet and ahead of a number of gold fleet boats. Second in silver fleet were Charlie and James Bailey (11th).

The Class also saw an encouraging number of regatta fleet boats entering the Alf Simmonds (10 in total). This fleet starts after the main fleet and is coached - on this occasion by the RYA Class Coach assisted by a couple of ex-cadets. Sam Nee and Audrey Giumali won the first race with Zach Windibank and Mave Parry Shields second and Alex McEwan and Amber Giumali third.

A quick turnaround into race 2 saw Toby and Kemmel snatch and hold the lead this time chased to the finish by Mish and Rhona with Amelia Mayhew and Hettie Thorogood scoring a third. Silver fleet this time was won once again by Amelie and Maddy (13th) with Lulu Mayhew and Rosemary second in Silver (15th) - both creditable results given the boisterous conditions.

In regatta fleet the running order was unchanged from race 1 - Sam and Audrey from Zach and Mave and then Alex and Amber. The conditions were providing a real challenge to the young regatta fleet sailors but there was no doubting their spirit and tenacity as they picked themselves up from (often) multiple capsizes and just kept plugging on. Whilst we can't control the wind strength, it's still so important to the Class that these sailors are nurtured and helped on their journey and that we avoid putting anyone off - they seemed to be buzzing and there were some big gains in experience and ability on show across the two residential weekends.

With the wind shifted to the east, a course reset was required. Our PRO moved the course west into the main part of the reservoir whilst the sailors had a bit of a break and did their best to stay warm and switched on before race 3. With a first and a second each things looked well balanced between Toby and Kemmel and Mish and Rhona but at the end of a still breezy first round Toby was just ahead of a small group of chasers which saw Mish and Rhona touch the leeward mark before tipping it in as they did a 360. Toby and Kemmel continued on to score a comfortable win ahead of Ed Fletcher and Alex Enkel with Will Shepherd and Joe Mycroft in third. This race, first silver fleet boat was Gwen Thorogood and Primrose Denny Pickess (9th) followed by Amelie and Maddy (10th), once again both beating a number of gold fleet boats in the process. Meanwhile regatta fleet had been picked up, patched up and were racing again, this time with the top 2 switching positions with Zach and Mave taking the win from Sam and Audrey; Alex and Amber, nothing if not consistent, in third.

All of this left Toby and Kemmel going into race 4 holding the aces for the overall win and knowing that only a last race win for Mish and Rhona could take the title from them. Toby and Kemmel got the better of the start but by the end of the first beat Mish and Rhona had fought their way through the other cadets and were chasing hard. Those of us lucky enough to be in ribs on the water saw something of a tactical masterclass develop: Toby and Kemmel a touch faster upwind and covering Mish and Rhona's every move with the latter clearly a bit faster on the runs and reaches and the two boats seemingly locked together by shock cord which stretched and contracted as the gap continually lengthened and closed. At the finish Toby and Kemmel had done enough to take their third win of the weekend with Mish and Rhona happy enough given their race 3 capsize. Tom and Ava also chased hard and finished 3rd in race 4 and equal on points with Ed and Alex overall who nevertheless took 3rd place for the event on countback. Amelia and Hettie rounded out the top 5 overall. In silver fleet Gwen and Primrose scored a ninth position with Lulu and Charlie Bailey later also scored a 9th after a request for redress hearing - its a long story! This left Amelie and Maddy first overall in silver fleet (10th overall in main fleet) with Gwen and Primrose second (13th overall - main fleet).

Things were even more finely balanced in regatta fleet with Zach and Mave just trailing Sam and Audrey going into the final race. However with Zach and Mave taking the last race win both boats were tied on 4 points, both boats had the same number of firsts and seconds, and so the overall winner was determined (as prescribed by the RRS) by who placed better in the last race. Things have never been so close and competitive in the regatta fleet! So overall, Zach and Mave first, Sam and Audrey second and Alex and Amber third.

It's always tough when it blows old boots early in the season, and none more so than when we've a 4 race back to back series to fit in but the way these sailors, some of whom are as young as 8 years old, was certainly impressive.

The Cadet Spring Series moves next to the South Coast tidal Pevensey Bay Sailing Club on 23/24th April. Last time the national class was there we enjoyed a cracking open meeting and, with excitement mounting over who will make it into the 10 coveted World Team places plus a growing home fleet of Cadet sailors who have practiced hard all winter, we are looking forwards to a bumper turnout. The ability to master the tide and the waves will certainly be to the fore.

A big thank-you to Grafham Water Centre for hosting us, to Grafham Water Sailing Club for providing race marks for free and to all our volunteers - we can't run these events without lots of parents giving up their time, bringing their ribs and getting generally stuck in - but we are indebted also to the many coaches who help develop the skills of these young sailors and also to our class PRO, Arky Wainwright and Juror, Steve Watson who give us their time so generously for free.

The Cadet Class is also delighted to announce a partnership with Vaikobi who are sponsoring the class in 2022. A separate press release will be released shortly.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewFleetClubR1R2R3R4Pts
Main Fleet
110001Toby BushKemmel ThorogoodGoldWSC‑21113
29877Hamish CollingridgeRhona EnkelGoldWSC12‑825
310012Edward FletcherAlex EnkelGoldWSC4‑72410
410002Tom WalkerAva StoddartGoldFPSC3‑54310
510032Amelia MayhewHettie ThorogoodGoldWSC535(RET)13
69994Will ShepherdJoe MycroftGoldFPSC743‑814
79028Fiona NeeAnnabelle ShepherdGoldFPSC‑1796621
89321Ines GreenThomas KrailingGoldWSC68(RET)721
910007Evan HarrisJames VellacottGoldWSC‑10107522
1010076Amelie WhitehouseMaddy SherwoodSilverFPSC91310(RET)32
119964Sofia SfaxiEvie BoddyGoldFPSC86(RET)RET35
129876Robert StewartDylan McArdleGoldWSC‑1512131035
139985Gwen ThorogoodPrimrose Denny‑PickessSilverWSC(DNF)DNC9939
149400Elouise MayhewRosemary FishSilverWSC1615(DNS)RDG40
1510092Brandon BarkerKali KaraskasGoldStone131611(RET)40
168533George LitttleHugh VoyseyGoldFPSC(RET)1112RET44
178854Sarah McEwanHolly JonesGoldFPSC1214(RET)DNC47
189962Charlie BaileyJames BaileySilverWSC1117(DNS)DNC49
197231Monty HamptonWilf KingsnorthGoldSCSC14(RET)DNFDNS56
208333Lydia MycroftMimi WindibankSilverFPSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC63
Regatta Fleet
19673Zach WindibankMave Parry ShieldsRegattaFPSC‑22114
29043Sam NeeAudrey GiumaliRegattaFPSC11‑224
39634Alex McEwanAmber GiumaliRegattaFPSC333(DNC)9
410003Oscar BushEmily KrailingRegattaWSC‑544412
58352Jemima McMorrisHarriet DaviesRegattaSCSC455(DNC)14
68380Elliott ChapmanGregory BoddyRegattaFPSC(RET)DNC6522
77274Josh DavidsonTeya BrezanRegattaSCSC(RET)DNCDNC325
892Ines FigueiredoKyla BrezanRegattaSCSC(RET)DNCDNCDNC33
88529Mia StanislausMaxwell StanislausRegattaSCSC(RET)DNCDNCDNC33
88845Monty SlumpImy SherwoodRegattaFPSC(RET)DNCDNCDNC33

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