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Noble Marine Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series 2022 at Haversham Sailing Club

by Stephen Hodgson 19 Oct 2022 01:30 PDT 15 October 2022

The Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Haversham Open meeting took place on Saturday 15th October at Haversham Lake north of Milton Keynes, with only 3 boats contesting the event.

Though the day was bright, and the rain held off, there were some very challenging gusts slamming down the lake which kept the safety boat teams busy all day. The Lightnings, once again this year, shared the lake with the Supernovas who were competing in their Traveller Southern Series 2022.

Olly, Haversham's Race officer for the day set a very simple easy figure of eight course for the first race which allowed visitors to familiarise themselves with the lake but also, given the gusty conditions that thankfully limited the course to only a couple of jibes. Other than a very gusty start line, all three boats crossed the line together and headed up wind without incident. There were several capsized Supernova's to negotiate along the way up to the windward mark. Caroline pulling away from Ian with Stephen already starting to trail was the first to suffer the very fluky wind shifts around mark 7, the windward mark, and stalled into irons allowing Ian to round the mark first. Caroline caught Ian on the reach but decided to practice her dry capsize routine allowing Ian to lead all the way through the rest of the first lap. During the second lap Ian capsized and spent quite some time recovering his boat, once recovered he sailed for some distance with his mast head decorated with a considerable amount of pond weed. In the meantime, Stephen was starting to gain on Caroline on the downwind legs but always loosing that distance again upwind. Ian, having managed to shake of his mast head decoration finally caught up and passed Stephen at the shifty windward mark in the final lap. In an easing wind, Caroline passed the winning post first followed by Ian a minute and a half later just beating Stephen by 6 seconds.

After lunch, Races two and three were sailed back-to-back. Though it appeared the wind gusts had eased slightly over lunch, once back on the water it was clear that was not the case but now the revised course had two additional jibes.

Race two saw Caroline round the first mark ahead of Ian, by which time Stephen was already struggling to keep up in a very gusty chop. The sky darkened and the wind gust became extreme for a short while providing plenty work for the safety teams. Caroline again became a casualty of the windward mark by capsizing allowing Ian to catch up an overtake, though it wasn't long before Caroline re-established her lead - Ian and Caroline continued to play cat and mouse for the rest of the race, Ian winning on the beats, Caroline on the reaches. Caroline once again passed the winning line 21 seconds ahead of Ian followed by Stephen over two minutes later.

Stephen Retired after race 2 so only Caroline and Ian sailed the third and final race. The two additional jibes introduced to the course in race two were removed by the race officer, which, given the final race wind gust strengths, was a wise decision. Ian won Caroline to the first mark, but as before, Caroline passed him on the reach and down wind. As in the previous race, Ian showed his strength in the beat to mark 7. On the third lap Ian was caught out like most were on mark 7, bearing away in a heavy gust he capsized and never recovered his lead over Caroline who sailed home to complete the race over three minutes ahead of Ian.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st438Caroline HollierWest Oxford Sailing Club‑1112
2nd441Ian RansonBolton Sailing Club‑2224
3rd402Stephen HodgsonDenholme Sailing Club33‑46

The final event in the Noble Marine Insurance Travellers series will be at West Oxford Sailing Club on Saturday the 12th November for the Lightning Rum and Mince Pie Open Meeting followed by a Fish & Chip supper.

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