Fishers Green Sailing Club held their annual Solo Open Meeting on Sunday 21st May 2023. The forecast was for moderate conditions with prevailing wind from a north easterly direction. A good direction for the club with the race officer being able to set two longish beats / two good reaches and a long run in each race. The wind did direction did alter in both strength and direction at times which resulted in a few capsizes in Race 1 and of course gains and losses during the day.
It was pleasing to see 22 entrants on the start line which included 13 club members. For Fishers Green Sailing Club another good attendance and thanks go to all that travelled alongside club members.
A four race event which now seems to be the preferred option for the Solo Fleets across the country with the opportunity to discard one result. I am pleased to report that the Solo Fleet were well behaved during the day with only one general recall. This being due to a violent short term change in the wind direction and not helms pushing the boundaries on the start line.
Race 1 – medium winds and a pin end favoured start. A clean start by all. Two longish predominantly starboard sided beats to the windward marks followed by reaches at speed and a dead run back to the leeward mark before returning onto the first beat. David Reekie ( 5607 ) was the winner followed by local helms Steve Conroy ( 5328 ) and Godfrey Clark ( 5801 ). During the race gains were made / lost on each leg of the course as the wind speed varied and slightly changed direction.
Race 2 – a similar format to that seen in Race 1 apart from the windward marks being moved away from temporary wind shadows that were evident earlier. Again this race started in a fair breeze. A pin end favoured start. A similar course. Paul Rayson ( 5181 ) another local helm was the winner followed by two visitors Vince Horey ( 6010 ) and Steve Ede ( 6045 ). Again positions were gained / lost especially on the run as helms searched for the fresher breeze.
Race 3 – After lunch the fleet launched for the two remaining races. Steady wind conditions remained with a clean start once the wind direction had settled down. A similar course to that set for Races 1 & 2. Another pin end favoured start. As the fleet progressed up the first beat the conditions became tricky – gusts of wind alongside numerous changes in direction. Two longish beats / good reaches and a long run back to the leeward mark. Another different winner Vince Horey ( 6010 ) followed by Steve Ede ( 6045 ) and David Reekie ( 5607 ).
Race 4 – With three different winners from the previous races and the other results being close the final Open Meeting positions would be reliant on that achieved in Race 4. Sadly Vince Horey ( 6010 ) was DNF and Steve Ede ( 6045 ) OCS in this race. Both being over the line after a crowded tricky pin end start. Vince returned behind the line to partially capsize during this manoeuvre and then subsequently retire from this race. Steve continued without early knowledge of being OCS. Again a similar course with Paul Rayson ( 5181 ) winning Race 4 closely followed by another different visitor Mark Maskell ( 6007 ) and David Reekie ( 5607 ).
Overall another successful Solo Open Meeting enjoyed by all and a credit to those at Fishers Green Sailing Club for their organisation / hospitality etc. It is always great for both local helms and visitors to be competing on the water within a large / competitive Solo Fleet.
Final positions within the top 5 were calculated and prizes were given to all
1st Paul Rayson ( 5181 ) Fishers Green Sailing Club ( Plus 1st Club Helm )
2nd David Reekie ( 5607 ) King George Sailing Club
3rd Vince Horey ( 6010 ) King George Sailing Club
4th Steve Ede ( 6045 ) Ardleigh Sailing Club
5th Godfrey Clark ( 4801 ) Fishers Green sailing Club
1st Lady Helm – Claudia Mancini ( 4127 ) FGSC
Most Spectacular Capsize – Richard Coulter ( 5068 ) FGSC
Most Consistent Helm ( 13th / 13th / 13th / 13th ) – Nick Pighills ( 5249 ) FGSC
Author : David Walford Solo Class Captain / Fishers Green Sailing Club
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