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GP14 Venetian Trophy at Fishers Green Sailing Club

by Godfrey Clark 17 Apr 01:56 PDT 13 April 2024
Maurice Cleal & Romek Kowalewski win the GP14 Venetian Trophy at Fishers Green © Charlie Cotter

On the 13th April, Fishers Green SC held the GP14 Venetian Trophy on behalf of the Welsh Harp Sailing Club while the Welsh Harp Reservoir remains drained for repairs. This is one the oldest trophies in the club and while an active contingent of GP14s are temporary resident at Fishers Green, it was a natural decision for FGSC to host the event.

The forecast was for a decent force 4 wind from the southwest, veering to west later and RO Godfrey Clark had noted the expected shift and considered likely changes of course later in the day. A decent 10, gusting 15 knots of breeze duly arrived with nice bright conditions for a typical FGSC figure 8 course.

The first race showed an early leader, with the red striped kite of Maurice Cleal/Romek Kowalewski who sped into a good lead after the top mark. However, Holyfield Lake gives fickle winds and it was the light blue kite of Steve Cooper and Liz Guest that suddenly appeared in the lead to take the win. The second morning race enjoyed the same wind but this time fortunes were reversed in favour of Maurice/Romek while the usual battles developed among the pursuers.

After lunch it was considered whether the wind had started to swing, with the flag on the committee boat flicking to the right as forecast, but then back to the left more than ever, so it was decided to leave the course the same. This time the team of Keith Street/Hannah Lipcott were the convincing leaders with their green/purple spinnaker well ahead of the pack. With the finish at the top mark, they found the last beat so shifty that they only just held on for the win, as three boats finished in five boat-lengths.

With 3 race winners it was all to play for, with the predicted wind veer still not in evidence the course remained the same. This time it was the blue kite of Street/Guest convincingly clear of the pack for the first lap until disaster struck in the form of a hideously tangled spinnaker. By the time this got resolved they had been swallowed up by the chasing pack and their bid for the trophy was lost.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st14253Maurice ClealRomek KowalewskiWelsh Harp SC‑21214
2nd14110Steve CooperLiz GuestWelsh Harp SC12‑525
3rd13787Keith StreetHannah LiptrotWelsh Harp SC4‑61510
4th13818Andy WadsworthCathy HowardWelsh Harp SC5‑73412
5th13237Tomek SzakolaMike AtkinsonWelsh Harp SC6‑84313
6th13472Sarah StreetLucy StreetWelsh Harp SC756(DNF)18
7th14149Tony PerkinsJohn McGuinessFrensham Pond SC33(DNC)DNC19
8th14200Sue TomkinsRoger JeffsWelsh Harp SC847(DNF)19
9th13299Jamie IslesAlexander RabbittWelsh Harp SC‑998623
10th13164Quentin DrainJohn O'SullivanWelsh Harp SC‑10109726
11th13471Steve BethelGuy HardenWelsh Harp SC12(DNF)10830
12th10Maurice FutermanMaria KareevaWelsh Harp SC11(DNF)11DNF35

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