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Midland Area Championship – Northampton Sailing Club 11th – 12th June

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For those who were keen enough the weekend started on Friday with a training session run by club members Kev Hall and Oliver Davenport, this saw a group of 6 hitting to water the sharpen there skills ahead of the weekend of racing.

A 12 o’clock start on Saturday gave sailors time the rig there boats and catch up with each over breakfast put on by the club’s catering team. The fleet launched into around 20 knots plenty for everyone to having fun with. Race 1 started on time but the fleet was too keen causing a general recall, everyone got away cleanly on the second start and everyone powered upwind to the first mark which was placed off the bank by the club house well placed for spectators to see all the spills and thrills. It was Jasper Barham leading round mark 1 (showing his off spring how it’s done) followed by Vince Horey and Jamie Morgan. On the reverse P course there were many place changes see Vince leading by the leeward mark. On the next 2 laps it saw Oliver Davenport, Jamie Morgan and Fergus Barnham making their way through the fleet to finish off in this order.

In race 2 the breezed a picked up slightly pairing this the RO Neil Barford tightening the reaching legs looked exciting. At mark 1 it was Oli Wells showing he hadn’t forgotten how to get to the front of the fleet after a long break from Solo sailing. On the first downwind a gust blasted its way down to the fleet catching many off guard and finding themselves checking the finish of their hulls. Over the next 2 laps the lead changed a few times with Chris Brown and Fergus both showing their form. At the end Fergus was just pipped by Oliver and Chris behind the pair.

Race 3 had Alex Alcock making his was out after his mainsheet jammer had pulled off in the first race but having fixed this he was fresh and raring to show what he could do. At mark 1 it was Alex, Jamie and Oliver who headed straight downwind after a switch of course to a windward leeward. At the leeward mark saw a capsize to windward for Oliver leaving him a lot to catch up on the catch Alex and the front group. The next 2 laps had Alex holding a good lead on the chasing fleet, all was going to plan for him to hold onto first place until just after passing through the line to start what would be his last lap the quick repair on his mainsheet jammer failed leaving him to sheet off the boom for the last lap which would ultimately be what cost him the race win but impressively holding onto second place, Jamie came home in third showing his pace in the breeze.

The fleet came assure after a great days sailing with everyone suitably tired with story to tell around the bar

Review of Saturday done by Oliver Davenport.

Day 2 of the weekend sailing saw those that stayed over awaken to crisp blue skies and much less in the way of wind. After a hearty breakfast the early 10 o’ clock start to the 3 races beckoned and a potential early finish.

Big shifts favouring the right hand side of the course, although you never really knew when one was going to come, made an interesting day with lots of winners and losers.

Race 4 showed that Oli Wells still has the goods in the Solo and took the win from Alex Alcock in 2nd and Shane MacCarthy 3rd.

Race 5 had another general recall and was away at the second attempt. A big 30 degree shift shortly after the start caught a few out as after the initial flurry of crash tacks the wind shifted back. And after one of those big right hand side shifts half way up the first beat Shane MacCarthy hit the front never to look back taking the win from Vince Horey in 2nd and Jasper Barnham in 3rd.

Race 6 showed Shane MacCarthy once again hitting the front of the fleet managing to pull away from the pack with Jasper Barnham. Whilst those two worked hard and kept the gap to the rest of the pack, places were changing on every leg of the course. Showing again what fantastic talent the Solo fleet has and the level of racing and tight competition was commented by spectators in the clubhouse. A fanatastic, but tiring event, came to a close with Ollie Davenport taking the overall honour of being crowned Midland Area Champion after two 4th places and a 3rd place respectively on the last day.

Overall results: 1st Oliver Davenport – Northampton SC 2nd Shane MacCarthy – Greystones SC 3rd Oli Wells – Northampton SC

4th Chris Brown - Grafham SC (1st Vet)

5th Jamie Morgan - Rutland SC

Ollie thanked the club, RO Neil Barford and Paul Busby for doing a great job all weekend, the volunteers on rescue and catering staff for making the event a great success.

Next event is at Carsington, which is a joint Midland and Northern event, on 2nd July.

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