Report By Lotte Johnson Photos By Lotte Johnson
Excitement was in the air as sailors from different clubs began to arrive at Brightlingsea sailing club and began to set up their boats. The forecast predicted light winds of 9 knots, gusting up to 12 knots, rather good weather for the Solo Open. This ended up being how the wind was, with a decent breeze throughout the day, it ended up being a little shiftier than expected however the helms did well to work with the shifts.
The first race started off with a general recall, then a black flag, making it clear that the race officer meant business. The fleet split fairly evenly on the first beat with Jonny Coate (South Staffs) being the first to the windward mark, James in 5938 closely behind and Oliver Davenport (Northampton SC) coming up in 3rd. It was close racing round the first mark, without any calls for water! (That I heard..) Jonny made it round the leeward gate without us so much as noticing - his lead had seriously extended, but Oliver managed to catch him up, securing a 1st position in the first race. The second race proved to be more challenging as the wind shifted halfway up the beat. Alex Butler found himself on the right side of the shift, generally the wind was on the left side of the course, the wind seemed to lift you on port, however Daniel Willett (Brightlingsea SC), who had been in fifth place, found himself dropping to ninth or tenth place due to the shift to the left. However, the Brightlingsea boys had a fantastic day on the water, Geoff pointing them out to me, they made the most of spots of pressure, even if it meant having to go against the tide. In the third race, those who went left again did themselves proud, emerging in front at the windward mark. It was a testament to their knowledge of the local waters and conditions. A cruiser decided to make herself known down the run on the last race, meaning a couple of the front runners had to duck dive to keep themselves out of the shadow. The Race Officer, Sarah Bines and her assistant race officer, Rebecca Bines, ran the race smoothly, despite the challenges posed by the wind shifts. They had to even black flag their own father, which while this found Sarah with her head in her hands, it showed their dedication to ensuring a fair and safe race. The safety boat crews, volunteers, and sailors also deserve a mention for their efforts in making the event a success. In the end, Oliver Davenport emerged as the victor, taking first place in the Solo Open race. Alex Butler (HISC) came in second, while Jonny Coate took third place. Oliver’s luck carried on through the names in a hat prize, with his tally number coming up for the Super Spars prize of a new mast! It was a well-fought race, with sailors pushing themselves to their limits in the challenging conditions. Overall, it was a great day for sailing and an excellent event for the Brightlingsea sailing club. The Solo Open race proved to be an exciting and competitive event, with skilled sailors showcasing their abilities and love for the sport. Despite the high level of competition, it was an uneventful racing day with champagne conditions. The wind died as the boats crossed the finish line of the final race and came up the beach, just in time for a drink at the bar!
Oliver Davenport Spring Champion and winner of the Super Spar Mast.
Results, sorry couldn't find them on their website.
Peter Kyne from Brightlingsea, winner of the Super Spar Boom.