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South Western Championships at Restronguet Sailing Club

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An enthusiastic fleet of 23 Fireflies competed for the 2016 south-west area championships over the late May bank holiday weekend at Restronguet Sailing Club. The weather was generally warm and sunny, with light winds on the first two days, and the breeze picking up on the final day to give everyone a good workout.

On the Saturday the light and shifty easterly (most unusual at Restronguet) was mastered rather better by some than others. Top of the scoreboard after two races were Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson with 1 and 2, closely followed by Stuart and Jane Hudson in their recently-revamped wooden boat “Tanglefoot”. Successful days were also had by Alex Davey, crewed by 8-year-old son Thomas, and Ed Smith sailing with his daughter Sophie.

Sunday saw more tricky conditions as the gradient north-westerly battled with a nascent sea breeze. The race officer did very well to squeeze in two races before the wind died completely at lunchtime. Local heroes (and defending champions) Ben Lumby and Liz Evans made a belated return to form, winning the first race, and Alex and Thomas continued their impressive series in taking the second one. Meanwhile though, Nigel and Emily extended their overall lead with two seconds.

Monday was back to classic Restronguet champagne sailing conditions, with blue skies and a force 4 from the north-west. In the first race Jamie and Jo McEwen just held off Rob and Mel Sherrington to take line honours, whilst Nigel and Emily’s fourth place was enough to give them the championships with a race to spare. The other podium places were still very much up for grabs though, and a long hard final race was eventually won the Hudsons to give them second overall, pushing Alex and Thomas down to third.

The ladies’ prize was very closely contested, tied on points between Sophia Hulbert and Lucy Boreham, with Sophia taking it on count-back. In the single-handed championship (one race on the Saturday), Jamie McEwen won, beating Stuart Hudson by a coat of paint. After the prize giving the competitors and supporters were treated to the legendary Restronguet cream tea – the perfect end to another glorious weekend.

Report:  Jamie McEwen
Photos: Jane Hudson and Graham Dyer

Results below –