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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Selden National Solo open meeting at Portchester Sailing Club

by Doug Latta 1 Aug 07:34 PDT 31 July 2022
Guy Mayger wins the Selden Solo open meeting at Portchester, and blows the horn in triumph © PSC

Thirteen visiting boats joined two local boats to do battle for the honour of winning the Portchester Horn and 'blowing their own trumpet'. Forecast winds were SW 10-15 knots, but the wind gods had other plans and winds gusting up to 25 knots and rarely falling below 18 knots were recorded throughout the day.

Race officers Paul & Maria Oakey of RS400 fame, made it clear that they weren't going to wait for stragglers to arrive for the start. Setting a sausage, triangle course with a leeward gate and races to run until shortened around 55 minutes, the first start got under way leaving some rueing the day having capsized before the start and never making it across the line, deciding instead for the safety of the shore.

While the windward mark seemed a good distance from the start, the leading group rounded within 7 minutes and set off on a wild downwind leg, the waves as high as a meter and very steep making the job of avoiding the back of the next wave pretty tricky. By the top again after only 16 minutes of racing, the leading group consisting of Alex Butler, Guy Mayger and Doug Latta from HISC as well as local Finn sailor Ivan Burden, Simon Derham from Littleton SC and Fraser Hayden from Papercourt.

Burden took a swim at the gybe mark leaving the HISC boys to it, Derham overhauled Latta in his Rooster boat on the next beat while Hayden remained in contention. Limbs and muscles were screaming by the fourth lap as competitors realised only 42 minutes had elapsed and there was to be at least one more lap if not two!

Rarely had a Solo gone any faster than the reaches, perfectly judged for maximum wave-riding and spray. Mayger, apparently suffering from a back strain, had overhauled Butler by the finish these two a good distance clear of the fleet. Maybe Mayger's injury story had been a means of lulling the unsuspecting fleet into a sense of comfort, or was that just Guy's soft tones when telling any story?

Race two started with a reduced fleet but little sign of the wind abating. The right hand side of the beat appeared to offer some benefit, maybe the fleet were just trying to minimise the number of tacks and happily hitting the corners while sailing towards the impressive Portchester Castle, a well preserved 3rd Century Saxon Fort and one of the oldest castles in Europe.

Mesmerised, your correspondent kept sailing towards it, over-standing the mark especially after the wind bend around the castle meant competitors were footing off to reach the mark - never quick or easy in a Solo in strong winds. The leading group were as in race one Mayger, Butler & Derham - Butler impressive in his downwind technique showing slipperiness beyond the average and taking three boats on the first reach.

Burden had snapped his kicker and had to forego his fourth place and return to shore for the rest of the day. Kieron Shrimpton, local RS400 sailor and recent recruit for North Sails, borrowed the works boat and impressed with his determination to complete all races despite his lightweight 57kg and a few swims along the way.

By the end the leading group extended and kept rank with Mayger taking the win from Butler and Derham while Hayden and Latta vied for 4th with Phil Sheppard snapping at their heels.

With the fleet further reduced and a slight easing of wind-strength, battle recommenced with all the usual suspects maintaining their positions, this time Butler would have his revenge over Mayger, who's back was maybe finally complaining at the abuse received, also allowing Derham through. Thankfully with the rest of the fleet fairly spread out, the race team shortened before the prescribed 55 minutes and the fleet headed back ashore.

Prizes were presented by veteran Solo sailor and Olympic gold medallist (with Rodney Pattison in the 1972 Olympics at Kiel in their Flying Dutchman), Chris Davies.

Guy thanked the race team, shore team and caterers for their fine efforts (and Alex for lifting his mast out for him! Poor old fella) and duly blew the Portchester Horn in triumph. He also thanked our Southern Series sponsors Selden for their support.

Top three gear guide:

1st Winder Mk2/HD/Selden D+
2nd Winder Mk1a/North/Selden Zeta
3rd Speed 5.5/Hyde/Selden D+

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5691Guy MagerHISC11‑32
2nd5781Alex ButlerHISC‑2213
3rd5393Simon DerhamLittleton SC‑3325
4th6002Doug LattaHISC4‑548
5th5693Fraser HaydenPapercourt SC‑6459
6th4539Phil SheppardAylesbury56‑811
7th5730Steve JonesLittleton SC(DNF)7613
8th5168Stephen HolcroftDell Quay SC8‑9715
9th602Kieran ShrimptonPortchester SC‑98917
10th5226Ivan BurdenPortchester SC7(DNF)DNS23
11th1435Martin HampshireLilliput SC(DNF)DNC1026
12th5913Steve HaggettLymington Town SC10(DNF)DNS26
13th5262John PurdeyDell Quay SC(DNS)DNSDNS32
13th5836Mark HarperDell Quay SC(DNS)DNSDNS32

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Selden 2020 - FOOTER