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Chew Valley Lake SC- Open June 11th

Report by Toby Peacock

Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club welcomed visitors from Teign Corinthian, Salcombe, South Cerney, Lymington and Torpoint Mosquito to its annual Solo open on 11th June. The forecast had predicted a rather grey, blustery day but as the sixteen Solos rigged a sunny 12-15kts was showing Chew at its finest and promised an outstanding days sailing. Race 1 got underway and Chris Goldhawk (Chew) quickly worked his way to the front very closely followed by Roger Guess (Salcombe) with locals Rob Higgins and Jason Rickards (both more usually found in skiffs) showing that good sailors can turn their hands to any boat in leading the chasing pack. Well, almost. Jason attacked the run like he was in his Musto, only to learn that the Solo doesn’t have a sixth gear when you heat up and thus slipped down the ranks. By the finish Chris just held off Roger, followed by Rob and Toby Peacock (Chew) recovered from a premature start to snatch fourth and the fast finishing Malcolm Davies (Teign Corinthian) in fifth. After a delicious curry we headed out for two back to back races and I, for one, was surprised to discover the wind had ratcheted up a notch. The committee boat end looked favoured for the start of race 2 until moments before the start a wind shift meant the bulk of the fleet found themselves the wrong end of the line and with little room for manoeuvre. Those who were able to tack off first made the most of the shift but at the top mark it was still tightly bunched with Rob leading from Chris, Roger and Toby. A very wet and exciting reach ensued and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering whether discretion should be the better part of valour as the gybe mark approached. Alas, vanity got the better or not just me, but race leader Rob. Chris took the lead which he never relinquished, Rob was back up and racing in fourth with Roger and Malcolm showing extraordinary downwind speed to take second and third. The third and final race is a difficult one for me to report on as I capsized on the warning signal and snapped my tiller. However, bar room chat was that in the really-now-quite-stiff breeze Jason was lying second and well clear of third on the final gybe, only to join the capsize fun. Roger’s tiller also broke, leaving Chris to take his third bullet. Behind him Rob picked up a second and Ian Bartlett (South Cerney) picked up his best result of the day in third. Half the fleet failed to finish (or start) the final race, testament to how the wind had risen through the day. So, with three wins Chris showed a level of consistency unmatched, Roger pushed him all the way for a very worthy second and Rob learning fast to take third. Many thanks to the race team led by Andy Jones for a spectacular day’s racing, and to all who travelled from around the south west. The Solo Western Area series now moves on to Torpoint Mosquito on 9th July.


Rank Sail Number Name Club Points

1 5362 Chris Goldhawk CVLSC -1 1 1 2

2 5851 Roger Guess Salcombe YC 2 2 -8 4

3 5793 Rob Higgins CVLSC 3 -4 2 5

4 5902 Ian Bartlett South Cerney SC -12 5 3 8

5 4654 Malcolm Davies Teign Corinthian YC 5 3 -7 8

6 5353 Jason Rickards CVLSC 7 -8 4 11

7 6030 Adrian Griffin Salcombe YC -10 6 5 11

8 5905 Steve Mitchell Torpoint Mosquito -13 7 6 13

9 5976 Toby Peacock CVLSC 4 10 (17 DNC) 14

10 5843 Simon Chapman CVLSC 11 9 (17 DNC) 20

11 5200 Nigel Appleton CVLSC 6 (17 DNC) 17 DNC 23

12 6025 John Ellis CVLSC 8 (17 DNC) 17 DNC 25

13 5479 Bill Chard CVLSC 9 (17 DNC) 17 DNC 26

14 5844 Nick Fisher Torpoint Mosquito 14 (17 DNC) 17 DNC 31

15 5701 Damian Gardner-Thorpe CVLSC (17 DNC) 17 DNS 17 DNS 34

15 5629 Tim Wade Lymington Town SC (17 DNS) 17 DNS 17 DNS 34

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