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Lymington XOD Wednesday Series Week 6

by Leslie Ross & Steve Adshead 6 Jun 02:04 PDT 5 June 2024
Lymington XOD Wednesday Series Week 6 © Robin Taunt

Sailing in glorious sunshine, tricky shifty westerly to north-westerly winds and a strong spring ebb tide across the course, the XOD fleet enjoyed a wonderful, if challenging afternoon's racing.

The wind was fluctuating with strengths from 20 to 6 knots. Race officer, James Hoare set an imaginative short first leg, followed by two leeward windward laps, that kept the race tactical and tight to a River Gate finish.

After playing a conservative start, Rory Paton's Mayfly sailed an exemplary beat to lead at the first mark, followed closely by Nik and Roy Froud's Venus and Barry Dunning's Crumpet. The run to H mark saw the bunched fleet adopt either an inshore strategy, to dodge tide, while others adopted a leeward, free air strategy, sailing deep in the gusts and optimising the lulls. Jonathan Clark in Tortoise made great gains up to second place by dint of some fine tactical lines in the second half of the leg. On the beat he consolidated, playing a shifty beat well to command the fleet and lead at the windward mark followed by Venus with Mayfly in third. By the last leeward mark the leaders were just holding off the pursuing pack, but no one could rest on their laurels: it was all to play for with the variable weather offering many opportunities for both gains and losses.

The beat to the finish was a game of snakes and ladders, with big holes and gusts. Mayfly a masterfully solid beat, taking the ladders, and consolidated to take the win from Tortoise. Behind, Steve Adshead's Astra was sailing a great beat and moved through to third with a final tack towards the River finish. James Markby in X-Ray banged a right corner and found a big lift to climb up a long ladder to claim third place from Astra. Venus found a snake but recovered to take a well earned 5th ahead of Crumpet.

After the finish the biggest challenge still lay ahead with several boats dropping their guard on the beat home up Lymington river and managing to find the mud in the low spring tide. Many others were grateful for these timely reminders of the muddy pitfalls ahead to be able to make their moorings without delay and keel soiling.

Race 6 Results: (top five)

1st X161 Mayfly: Rory and Amanda Paton and Charlie Duffin
2nd X165 Tortoise: Jonathan Clark, Ben McGrane and Edward Wilson
3rd X117 X-Ray: James Markby, David Bedford and Ruari Grimes
4th X63 Astra: Steve and Isabel Adshead and Leslie Ross
5th X72 Venus: Nik and Roy Froud and Chris Harris

Full Lymington XOD series results can be found at rlymyc.org.uk/afloat/results/XOD-results

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