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Cadet Open at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by David Little 20 Mar 23:12 PDT 17 March 2024

Tactics and tacking duels among shifty breeze

31 boats took part in the Frensham Pond Cadet Open meeting on Sunday 17 March. Some had joined the regular Saturday morning training, this time run by dinghy racing legend (and former Cadet sailor) Nick Craig, fresh from yet another World Championship crown in the OK class in Australia. Time to put the learning into practice!

Race 1

The rain died away by launch time, and the Pond saw a steady 8kts from SSW. Race Officer Martin Goult laid the line only for the fleet to be too keen on their first attempt; general recall. The second try was more successful, and the fleet spread out. The wind favoured the right-hand side, and Tom Shepherd and Annabel Shepherd in 9994 took a lead. But the breeze was very patchy, and by the top mark 2023 National Champion Sam Nee and Isabelle Davies in 9028 rounded first, followed by George Little and Charlie Jones in 8853 and Mimi Windibank and Rose Little in 8537 (who had banged the right-hand corner and won). Tom and Annabel worked up to third on the run, with Alex McEwan and Harry Murphy McKie in 10092 nipping at their transom. Only a few sensible boats sought clean air away from the pack of boats behind them.

By the second top mark, Sam and Isabelle had pulled out a good lead, with George and Charlie second and Tom and Annabel third - and then a big gap to the rest. But what's this on the third beat? Someone taking Nick Craig's words "if you don't capsize occasionally you're not really pushing yourself" to heart? At least it was a quick recovery, Sam.

Those four kept that order to the finish, followed by Ned Fairhurst and Sam English in 9367 in fourth, Alex and Harry in fifth, and Monty Hampton and Harriet Dearsley (sailing a brand-new Synergy hull - lucky boy!) in 7371 sixth.

Unfortunately a group of five boats got the finish line wrong and decided to round the pin buoy the wrong way - five DNFs, I'm afraid. Still, open meetings are where you cut your teeth, and better to learn lesson here than at the Worlds.

In the Regatta fleet, Hugh Voysey and Hannah Muir Wood in 8855 got a superb start and led off the line, with a flawless first beat. Their dominance soon became clear - they were never crossed and established a commanding lead, by the end even catching the back of the Main Fleet, which started some five minutes beforehand. In second place were Imogen Bush and Vivien Letts in 9026, and in third were Audrey Guimali and Amber Guimali in 9634.

Race 2

Martin Goult (assisted by son Ben, himself a former Cadet sailor, now Durham University Sailing Commodore) got the fleet away after a couple of APs. The breeze was down to 6kts at times, and strong boat handling to get clean air or block opponents was very evident. Monty and Harriet did well with the shifts, which seemed to favour the left this time. By the top mark, Sam and Isabelle had taken the lead, followed by Monty and Harriet, then Tom and Annabel. Monty and Tom exchanged places a couple of times, but at the finish it was Monty and Harriet who took second behind Sam and Isabelle (who were leading by nearly a leg).

In Regatta fleet, Hugh and Hannah repeated their earlier performance, with a strong start and a superb first beat. They didn't put a foot wrong, and by the finish had overtaken a couple of back markers in the main fleet. They were followed by Bruce Ward and Oscar Ward in 8513, and Jenna Berry and Daisy Cox in 8333. Regatta fleet benefitted from on-the-water coaching by Bee Nee and Sarah McEwan, both ex-Cadets themselves.

Race 3

After a carb-heavy pasta lunch, the sailors were back on the water. The breeze was around 7kts with hints of sunshine poking through the clouds. After another general recall, the fleet got away. This beat was tricky; individual patches of breeze appeared and disappeared, with skill and luck being required in equal measure. The top mark was a starboard rounding, and a bunfight developed with a couple of late arrivals on starboard making big gains. Things settled on the run, and Monty and Harriet led by the leeward mark, followed by Sam and Isabelle with Zachary Windibank and Alice Boddy in 9673 third. Things changed on the second run, with Sam and Isabelle overtaking Monty and Harriet, and George and Charlie moving up from fifth to third. But a final fickle beat saw more place changes, with Tom and Annabel moving up to take the lead, and Monty and Harriet dropping to fourth.

In Regatta fleet, Hugh and Hannah had yet another perfect race. A clean start and dominant first beat allowed them the clean air to sail their own race, and by the end they had overtaken one or two back markers in the main fleet. Massive grins on 'Flirting with Danger', rumoured to be one of the Magic Seven in Cadet mythology... They were followed across the line by Jenna and Daisy in second, Anna Thomas and Amelie Pedly in 7279 in third.

The sailing instructions curtailed racing at this point, so all back to shore.

Main fleet overall winners are Sam and Isabelle, with Tom and Annabel second and George and Charlie third. Regatta fleet winners, with a perfect scoreline, are Hugh and Hannah, with Jenna and Daisy second and Imogen and Vivien third.

A massive thanks to all the volunteers and team who worked so hard to put the event on, from race and safety team, to coaches, galley crew and parents. And an especial thanks to Cadet Captain Don Stanislaus and wife Nicola, for masterminding not only this event but all of Frensham's Cadet sailing. Bravo.

And so to Plymouth at the start of April, for the first of two selector events to choose the GBR Team to compete at the Worlds in Plymouth 2024 - bring it on!

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoFleetHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
Main Fleet
1stShe Who Dares9028GoldSam NeeIsabelle DaviesFrensham Pond SC11‑22
2ndMay Contain Nuts9994GoldTom ShepherdAnnabel ShepherdFrensham Pond SC‑3314
3rdTeen Spirit8533GoldGeorge LittleCharlie JonesFrensham Pond SC2‑435
4th 7231GoldMonty HamptonHarriet DearsleySouth Cerney SC‑6246
5thBluefin9367GoldNed FairhurstSam EnglishFrensham Pond SC4‑959
6thGood Vibes10092GoldAlex McEwanHarry MurphyMcKieFrensham Pond SC56‑1211
7thJoint Effort10012GoldAlex EnkelJude BaldockWaldringfield SC75‑1012
8thJIM9673GoldZac WindibankAlice BoddyFrensham Pond SC‑87613
9thMaster Mariner8352GoldJemima McMorrisIslay BromheadSouth Cerney SC‑1210717
10thHot Rocks8845GoldMonty SlumpFrankie SherwoodFrensham Pond SC9‑13817
11thAeolus10002SilverAva StoddartPenelope DaviesFrensham Pond SC108‑1318
12thUtopia8529SilverMia StanislausSophie BaerFrensham Pond SC‑11111122
13th 998SilverTom KrailingElla EdwardsWaldringfield SC(DNF)15924
14thThunderstruck10094SilverWill HancockJasper BushSouth Cerney SC(DNF)121527
15th 9301SilverEmily KrailingRosie HancockWaldringfield / SC1314‑1727
16thZephyr10006SilverMave Parry‑ShieldAlvy JonesFrensham Pond SC / Fishers Green15‑191429
17thArgy Bargy9159SilverGregory BoddyJames RichardsFrensham Pond SC1416‑1830
18th 9400SilverGeorge Cox‑OlliffGeorge LettsWaldringfield SC(DNF)171633
19thAquilo9977SilverHolly JonesFinn SullamFrensham Pond SC(DNF)181937
20thNever Look Back8537SilverMimi WindibankRose LittleFrensham Pond SC(DNF)202040
Regatta Fleet
1stFlirting With Danger8855Regatta / New HelmHugh VoyseyHannah Muir WoodsFrensham Pond SC‑1112
2ndSizzering Hot8333Regatta / New HelmJenna BerryDaisy CoxFrensham Pond SC‑8325
3rdFast Forward9026Regatta / New HelmImogen BushVivian LettsWaldringfield SC2‑657
4thBlue Rose7279Regatta / New HelmAnna ThomasAmeile PedlyRickmansworth SC4‑537
5th 9634Regatta / New HelmAmber GiumaliAudrey GiumaliFrensham Pond SC3‑969
6thBreezer9294Regatta / New HelmImmy SherwoodEvie BoddyFrensham Pond SC64‑910
7th 9080Regatta / New HelmKyla BrezanAlex NailerSouth Cerney SC57‑812
8thTop Notch8513Regatta / New HelmBruce WardOscar WardSouth Cerney SC(DNS)21113
9th 8521Regatta / New HelmPaige DavidsonZoe ThomasSouth Cerney SC9‑10413
10thToo Risky8427Regatta / New HelmCharlotte Noren‑TophamMiles HardyFrensham Pond SC7‑8714
11th 9401Regatta / New HelmHarriet DaviesGilbert LewisSouth Cerney SC10‑111020

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