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Allen Solo Midlands Series kicks' off at Banbury SC.

The Allen Midlands Area series started on the 23rd of March at Banbury SC. With a Westerly forecast of 16 knots gusting 27, and a bit chilly at 6*C we had a group of 9 brave sailors who decided to take part.

I arrived early and started to unpack my boat, being the first of the season I had lost practice! The Banbury team where busy getting ribs and committee boat ready, and the galley team making sure we had a hot drink. It was nice to see again the familiar faces arrive to the event…

As I was getting the mast ready for Martin to help me put it up, Martin H. and Chris B very wisely advised me that probably it wasn’t the best day to have my new burgee up, so I took it off and was very grateful for it!

RO brief advised there would be 4 races during the day, 2 before lunch and 2 after.  The first one, was the one where we felt the most the wind strength, gusts and shifts. The race started with 8 sailors, as Olly S. had some troubles with his sail, so he joined for the 2nd race. Chris B was first to get to the first mark, followed by Martin, Jamie, Oli W, Jonathan W and Nick E, more towards the back it was George and myself trying to stay up.  The race ended with Chris on first place, Jamie C on 2nd and followed by Ollie W. For the 2nd race Olly S had joined, but George and me decided that maybe the wind was a bit too much and retired before competing race 1. So, on the 2nd race wind continued to be strong, and again Chris B finished 1st, Oli W 2nd and Martin H 3rd. Ollie W was doing very well on both 1st and 2nd race, but several capsizes meant he didn’t finish on the lead during the morning, similar case for Martin.

A nice lunch and hot drink were needed to warm up after the cold morning, but i was decided that a very nice crumble would be saved to enjoy after all races, rather than during the lunch break. Rain arrived and 3rd race was on its way, but luckily shortly after the start, the skies cleared and the sun made an appearance, with a big change on the wind strength, still very shifty but definite more manageable. I regretted having packed-up my boat between race 2 and lunch as I would have happily had sailed race 3 and 4 given the milder conditions that we had in the afternoon. On the 3rd race Ollie W had the lead, followed by Jamie C on 2nd place and Chris B on 3rd place. For the 4th race of the day, I would say there was an interesting start with the committee boat tie up to the pontoon, with a starboard bias start in a tight space made it a bit of a messy start for the sailors wanting to be on the best spot. With 2 wins and a 3rd place, Chris B was keeping an eye on Oli Wells to make sur he didn’t do his tact of going opposite direction to the fleet and coming out 1st place, but at the end the one to take the lead was Martin H, followed by Olly Saunders in 2nd place and Jamie Cuxson on 3rd place.   An interesting day and we did keep the team on Safety busy!!!

Well done to the top 3:

·     Chris B on 1st place

·     Oli Wells 2nd place

·     Jamie Cuxson 3rd place

And last but not least a big thank you to everyone in the Banbury SC team who made the event, specially to Dave Cornish who led the organisation of the event. On the day we had Stuart, commodore of Banbury SC, Nic, Miles and Tony supporting Dave on Race officers and Safety boat cover and in the Galley Rebecca, Vic and Gerald looking after our meals and drinks 😊

The next Allen Midland Series event is at South Staffs SC on Saturday May 4th, you can register at: https://www.southstaffssailingclub.co.uk/event/solo-open-4
And remember, if you take part in at least 5 Midlands events you qualify for a draw during the EOS for a prize donated by our sponsor CB Boat Trailer and Cover Store. Please see the full calendar below.

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