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Draycote Water Bank Holiday Pursuit Race 1

by Jeremy Atkins 20 Apr 22:22 PDT 18 April 2022

Easter Monday saw the start of this year's Bank Holiday Pursuit Race series at Draycote Water Sailing Club. The series culminates in the awarding of the Club Champion Trophy after the New Year's Day pursuit race in 8 months' time.

Visitors are welcome to compete in the individual races and, once again, Nigel Pepperdine from Staunton Harold SC was with us to keep the 39 Club member boats on their toes.

The 100-minute race 'starts' with the Toppers & Tera Pros, with slower boats having to sail even more than the allotted 100 minutes, and so it was that Noah Byrd was sailing his Optimist out to the start line before some of those in faster boats had even arrived at the Club. Unfortunately, Noah hadn't got up early enough and was about 30 seconds late for his start, but he was soon on his way up the long initial beat.

A race was on to see if he would round the first mark before the next boat started. He nearly made it because the next boat, his brother Henry in a Tera Sport, started prematurely and had to re-start. The Toppers followed shortly afterwards starting the 100-minute count down.

The ILCA 7s and Aero 7s were the biggest fleets with 6 a-piece, but the Aero start was the most crowded with the addition of Ted Ball who was sailing his Dad's Supernova for the first time. So crowded that Ted and Gary Walton were over the line and had to re-start.

As usual, trying out the first beat before the start paid - Will Sunderland in an ILCA 7 and Ted had done this and agreed that right was the way to go. It was, and Will had a good lead over the rest of the ILCAs by the first mark and Ted had recovered from his re-start.

Will overtook the slower boats and soon had a good lead, with Nigel Pepperdine in his Streaker in second. A gaggle of ILCAs, Aeros, Solos and other boats followed in close succession, but Ted was getting to grips with the Supernova and pulled away from the rest of them. As the minutes clicked down Will led the fleet down a series of downwind legs, almost the length of the lake. While his lead was impressive, the kites of Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett in their Flying Fifteen and Steve Irish and Norman Byrd (505) were pulling them past the slower boats.

Would they get to the front in time? Turning upwind with 15 minutes to go it looked as if Will might keep his lead, but with four of the Club's top sailors chasing him in much faster boats his heart was pumping fast. At the time limit Will narrowly held his lead, with the Flying Fifteen just overtaking the Streaker in the last few seconds. The Supernova was fourth and the 505 fifth.

A great start to this year's series.

Overall Results: (top five)

1st ILCA 7, Will Sunderland 2nd Flying Fifteen, Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett 3rd Streaker, Nigel Pepperdine 4th Supernova, Ted Ball 5th 505, Steve Irish & Norman Byrd

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