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Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series at Cookham Reach Sailing Club

by Caroline Hollier 26 Jul 2022 12:37 PDT 23 July 2022

Five visitors joined the seven local boats at the latest Noble Marine Travellers Series event held on Saturday 23 July at the delightfully picturesque Cookham Reach Sailing Club on the River Thames. The sun was shining and there was wind, unlike the calm and challenging conditions of last year.

Four races were to be held, two back to back, in for lunch then a further two races. With the wind coming from a south westerly direction, our race officer for the day took us up the river, where there was more wind and we sailed an elongated diamond course, all mark roundings to port. One had to be careful not to go too close to the bank, as the sailors soon found themselves coming to an abrupt halt, caught in the lily pads.

Race One started, and as the fleet headed down the river back towards the club, local members David Phillips and Andrew Yuille in his brand new mark 3 showed us the way, closely followed by Simon Hopkins and John Claridge. Running back up the river to the final mark of the course, many place changes took place.

John passed Simon, and Caroline Hollier was reeling them all in. Up the beat, Simon found himself going backwards as he tackled the wrong side of the river, John took the lead, closely followed by Caroline, who both then took off in the distance, as wind shifts and a calm patch slowed many down. John went on to win race one, Caroline second and David Phillips third.

Race Two got under way moments after the final boat finished. Another clean start. Most sailors opted for the left hand side of the river, but Caroline decided to tack off to clear air as everyone was shouting for water to tack off the bank. John reached the windward mark first, closely followed by Simon, Caroline was due to be next, but local Martin Evans tried to unsuccessfully sneak in on port, and collided with Caroline coming in on starboard whist he was trying to tack.

After Martin did his turns and Caroline sorted herself out, they were both at the back of the fleet. Meanwhile John, Simon and the rest of the fleet were heading off into the distance. Peter Withrington sailing for his first time after lockdown, was sailing beautifully down the run with excellent boat speed. Martin and Caroline both made their way through the fleet to catch the leaders, with John taking his second win, Martin second and Caroline third.

During the lunch break, the wind looked like it was picking up further, but once all had launched it appeared to die down again, especially for the start, but filled in nicely during the race, although at times you seemed to be beating both up and down the river (very strange and was the cause of a couple of capsizes for some).

So Race Three got under way, this time it was Simon who found himself at the front of the pack. Further collisions and lack of wind at the windward mark left John and Caroline towards the back of the fleet, both ending up finishing the race mid fleet. Meanwhile, Duncan Cheshire was joining the party up at the front, coming second to Simon with David Phillips taking another third.

The Final Race got going, and club sailor Andrew Yuille took an early lead and sailed off into the sunset, never to be caught, while the rest of the fleet were battling it out. Simon, John and Caroline were all heading to the leeward mark three abreast, although Caroline on the outside gave ample room, Simon and John had a coming together and Caroline got past them both, only to be caught again later up the beat.

Simon got past Caroline again, and John was eventually overhauled by David Phillips. On the final beat to the finish line, Andrew took the gun and Simon and Caroline were neck and neck, with Simon taking second by a couple of inches.

Thanks go to Cookham for providing us with their kind hospitality once again.

The next event in the Noble Marine Travellers Series is the Inland Championships, which this year are to be held at Oxford Sailing Club on Saturday 20 August.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1Buzz427John ClaridgeLymington YC11‑657
2Msocnir428Simon HopkinsUp River YC‑84127
3Aurura438Caroline HollierWest Oxfordshire SC23‑838
4Freya259David PhillipsCRSC3‑83410
5(no name)150Martin EvansCRSC425‑711
6Fun Thing446Andrew YuilleCRSC66‑7113
7(no name)434Duncan CheshireWinsford Flash SC5‑72613
8Cherie‑Beau442Peter Withrington(none)1054(DNF)19
9Calculus412Clive EvisonCRSC7‑109824
10Fright'ning431Duncan WattsCRSC99‑10927
11(no name)304James LongCRSC‑1111111032
12Finale372Nigel WebbCRSC12(DNC)DNCDNC38

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