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GJW Direct Nationals Race Day 3

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  • 3 min read

After a lay day enforced by a summer storm yesterday the GJW Direct Firefly Nationals fleet were keen to get some sailing under the belt today at Pwllheli Sailing Club.

Tremadog bay rewarded them with a stonking set of conditions. Yesterday’s weather had cleared to leave clear skies and the 30 knot southerly had backed to west and left behind a metre of swell for the 12 foot double handed hiking boats to enjoy. Perhaps because the swell gave rise to some exciting reaching conditions, PRO Henry Wright elected to use a triangular course to maximise the thrills for the sailors.

After the inevitable first-start-of-the-week recall and subsequent start, the fleet got away nicely with an even spread across the line. Rob and Mel Sherrington led at the first mark and held a lead for the for three laps. Behind them newcomers Andy Shaw and Pippa Horne, who got their entry for free after winning the BUSA team sailing champs held on to second until the final lap where they overtook the leaders.

The deciding incident took place at the windward mark where the Sherringtons, now in second, took a penalty after infringing third placed Ben Lumby/Liz Evans from Restronguet sailing club. During the ensuing fracas, where Lumby had to ‘shoot’ the mark to get round, Dan and Ella Vincent nipped round the inside to take second. After two suburb reaches the father and daughter team managed to overtake the BUSA winners and scoop themselves one of the most beautiful trophies on the dinghy sailing circuit, the Sussex Silver Firefly.

Race two reverted to a gate start, and pathfinder Rob and Mary Hendersen struggled against the chop to open the gate on time. Although the race committee took an early decision to recall the fleet, neither the pathfinder nor the gate boat heard the gun, and sailed a full start anyway! Eventually the recall flag was shown to the fleet and on the second start, the pathfinder eventually tacked away nicely on a header to lead the fleet up the beat. After some shifts and some big waves a big bunch of boats came in from the left hand lay line to mix things up nicely. The first reach was another blinder and in all the spray it was difficult to see who was who! The Vincent team, now sporting the Wave Clothing yellow jersey for winning the previous race, we’re a little buried but managed to salvage a reasonable 16 th place to hold onto 5th overall. Race leaders at this stage were the Sherringtons once again, with event leader Stu and Jane Hudson a few places behind. The Hudsons have a reputation for being able to climb through the fleet and this is what they did, eventually overhauling the Sherringtons on the last lap to win and secure a nine point lead in the series.

Full results delayed pending protest…