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Sprint Championships Report

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If ever there could be a misnomer for an event surely this was it? Fortunately Mother Nature intervened, to provide conditions that allowed the Fireflies to do their best approximation of sprinting!

24 Fireflies ventured to Rutland for the inland championships, despite the ominous forecast. The plan was to run a sprint or short course event, dividing the fleet into 4 groups, and running racing in three rounds, the top half progressing onto semi finals then finals, and the lower halves progressing onto silver and bronze fleets. Points awarded on a high score basis but only to the top half of each fleet. Well that was the plan. As PRO Ralph Tingle correctly identified flexibility was key, especially with Sunday’s force 7 forecast threatening completion of the necessary rounds. Instead for Saturdays racing, the fleet was split into 3 groups of 8 boats, each group completing 6 races with the format for Sunday to be decided later. So a total of 18 races with separate start and finish lines, a busy race committee and the feeling we should be team racing, well except for the lack of judges and shouting.

Stuart & Jane Hudson dominated Fleet 1 followed by Alex Davey & Caroline then Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson. Steve Tylecote and Sally Wilson lead fleet 2 with 3 wins followed by Mark Tait and Sally Wakefield with two Peter Tait and Clare Hunter stole the last win to squeeze ahead of Jamie and Jo McEwan. Jono & Sarah Pank seemed to have things their own way in the 3rd group, followed by Steven Greaves and Poppy Jukes.

The decision was made to truncate Sunday’s format because of the gales forecast for the afternoon. Gold and silver fleets were created from Saturdays results and 6 races were planned for each. I’d love to tell you what happened in detail, however racing was hectic and the memory now a bit thin, something to do with the cold water I think. Racing was cancelled after each fleet had completed 4 races, as it had started to get ‘a bit fresh’ by which time it was possible to award prizes to Alex Davey and Caroline and Tony Thresher and Mike Radford who were the only two boats not to have capsized. In the end Steve and Sally won comfortably, despite a terminal swim in the final race, Nigel and Emily had managed to pull their socks up following Saturdays performance to finish second. Mar Tait and Sally were surprised to end up 3rd despite only finishing 2 races with Tony and Mike coming in fourth. In the silver Fleet, Rosey Davey and Giles Bradford showed everyone else the way round to win comfortably.

Overall Results:

Gold Fleet

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1st 3037 Steve Tylecote Sally Wilson Rutland 6 6 3 1 16
2nd 3674 Nigel Wakefield Emily Saunderson Spinnaker 5 3 1 6 15
3rd 498 Mark Tait Sally Wakefield Burghfield DNF 0 6 4 10
4th 3895 Tony Thresher Mike Radford West Oxford 0 4 2 3 9

Silver Fleet

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1st 3690 Rosie Davey Giles Bradford Royal Harwich YC 6 6 6 6 24
2nd 3966 Ali Barker Nicky Barker Chipstead 5 5 4 3 17
3rd 3739 Lucy Boneham Rachel Crebbin Hamble River 3 DNC 5 5 13
4th 3748 Andy Reynolds Jones Bex Marriott Hamble River 1 2 2 4 9