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Solo Open at Broadwater Sailing Club

by Alex Beard 29 Mar 05:51 PDT 5 March 2022
Broadwater Solo Open © John Greaves

With Covid uncertainties hopefully behind us, the 2022 Eastern, Thames Valley and Selden Southern Series kicked off with the first Open of the year on Saturday 5th March at Broadwater SC.

Back in its traditional slot, the first weekend after the RYA Dinghy Show, fingers were crossed that there would be more wind at this time of year than greeted sailors who attended the rescheduled 2021 Open last October.

Indeed sailors would not be disappointed. As participants gathered, it was clear that the wind forecast had been a little understated, but at least it was dry. The format was for two back-to-back races in the morning with another two back-to-back after lunch. With a strong wind from the north gusting 20-25 knots, a circular course around the lake was set, starting at the southern end. The first race proved eventful with several capsizes before and throughout, keeping the rescue boat busy and frequently changing the pecking order - as least everyone got a chance to admire Mike Dray's bright green paintwork. Four of the 13 bowed out but Tim Lewis came home first followed by Andy Cooney, who was guesting in a club Solo for the day.

After a short break, the same course was used for the second race, however three had already called it a day. Sailors continued to take dips in the lake, but all who started completed the race - again won by Tim with Littleton's Steve Jones coming in second. And so a break for lunch followed - time to refuel, warm up and take stock of conditions and tactics.

The afternoon brought little respite in the conditions and white horses continued to flicker across the lake. Seven boats headed back out to a slightly modified course and five finished. Littleton's Mike Dray found the form and came in first with Steve making it a Littleton 1-2. Going into the final race, Tim had a 2pt lead but despite a back-to-back win for Mike, Tim took second place which was enough to secure first place overall on the day ahead of Steve in second and Mike in third.

Well done to Tim who joins the other 45 or so names immortalised on the legendary BSC 'Chess' Trophy.

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