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West Oxford Open – 29th October 2011

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Saturday 29th October saw 11 teams, including 7 from the home Club, compete in the WOSC Firefly Open. Sailed in a pleasant force 2 south south westerly rising to a brisk force 3 to 4 in the middle of the day before dropping again for the final race, competitors enjoyed plenty of nip and tuck racing during the day. A series of three races were sailed with one discard followed by a ‘must count’ double points scoring 4th race.


Race 1 saw Rosie Davey and Giles Bradford round the windward mark first never to be headed and winning by a clear margin. Rosie’s 2 year Firefly lay off and Giles not having sailed a Firefly since the Tenby Nationals in 2010 clearly wasn’t a hindrance. The minor places were filled by Tony Thresher and Emily Herridge in 2nd who worked there way through the fleet having initially sailed to the wrong windward mark. Close behind in third were Richard Burton and Kate Hardy.


Race 2 followed a similar pattern except that behind Rosie and Giles a very close race developed between Lucy Boreham crewed by Rachel Crebbin and Richard and Kate. Lucy and Rachel eventually finished 2nd having fought of a last lap challenge from Tony and Emily who once again had to come from behind having been over the line at the start. Richard and Kate finished 4th.


Race 3 produced the closest race of the day with Tony and Emily rounding the windward mark first closely followed by Lucy and Rachel then Rosie and Giles. Rosie and Giles eventually won through finishing less than a boat length ahead of Tony and Emily with Lucy and Rachel hot on their heels.


Going into the final must count double points race there was still all to play for throughout the fleet. Tony and Emily could still win the meeting by finishing first and hoping Rosie and Giles finished 3rd or lower. Rounding the windward mark first it seemed Giles and Rosie were going to have it all their own way once again. However Tony and Emily managed to sneak past on the second lap at the top of the beat and went on to build a comfortable lead. Giles and Rosie were pressured by Rob and Karen Bell who were having their best race of the day but hung on for 2nd so winning the meeting on count back.


Mention must go to the juniors who made up nearly half the sailors in the fleet. Beatrix Burrows crewing for Richard Root was the first junior on the water with her brother Oliver crewed by Alex Howe winning the all junior prize from Chandara Olygunsoy and James Nicoll.


Pictures Dave Roberts