Thursday, May 16, 2013
Hyde Sails continues to lead the UK Global National Ranking Series, but had to settle for second place in the highly-competitive Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Chew Valley…Chew Valley Lake SC hosted an excellent Open meeting, which also served as the Flying Fifteen Inland Championship, laying on a great event for the home sailors and the visitors.Chew Valley Lake SC hosted an excellent Open meeting, which also served as the Flying Fifteen Inland Championship, laying on a great event for the home sailors and the visitors.
As the boats rigged ready for the first day of competition some dark patches were already obvious out on the race course area suggesting more breeze than forecast. After a welcome and introduction to the club and one minute’s silence in memory of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, the Principal Race Officer detailed the plan; three races Saturday, probably two laps per race, each lap consisting of a triangle and a sausage, with two more races on Sunday.
The first race saw a short first beats put a premium on starting and nailing the approach to the windward mark. Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado in the Hyde Sails boat nailed the start and led to the top of the beat, only to not quite lay the winward mark when required, which meant they got swallowed up by the pack. After two laps at pace with plenty of breeze, Steve Goacher and Phil Evans took the win, followed by local boat Ian Cadwallader and Nick Stone, then Bax/Grant. The Hyde team moved forward through the race eventually taking fourth.
When race two started, it quickly became clear the breeze was really up with massive gusts combined with sharp changes in direction proving an issue for all competitors. A couple of boats took turns leading only to fall over during this three-lap race. Eventually the battle for first came down to a two horse race between the Hyde boat and Greg Wells and Andrew Jameson. Richie and Matt in Hyde Sails eventually shook off the challenge and sailed home a clear winner in the breeze. Wells was second with Goacher third.
The Race Officer then took the wise decision to postpone race three until Sunday morning; the fleet had one dis-masting, one sinking and several torn spinnakers and broken poles.
Three races were scheduled and completed with a little less wind but from a very similar direction. The starts, first beat and windward mark approach were again critical due to the shortness of the first leg and the lighter winds... After plenty of shifts and gusts, with a lightening trend in the breeze through the races, and some very close racing at the front of the fleet, Jeremy Davy sailing with Paul Busby won the day with a very impressive 4, 1,2 for the three races. The Hyde team of Richie and Matt had a tough day at the office, recording 6,3,4 to claim second overall. What was particularly pleasing was the speed of the Hyde boat upwind, enabling them to re-start after an OCS in race five and get back to fourth across the finish line, which would prove critical in the overall results.
The result at the Inland Champs means that the winning streak has been broken, but the Hyde team remains solidly top of the UKGLOBAL national ranking series. The next event is the Bulwark Trophy at Hayling Island SC on May 25-26.