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Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club Solo Open 2024 – 01 & 02 June

Sponsored by Winder Boats and Impact Marine

Report by Justine Davenport

Photo by Chris Everitt

The first weekend in June dawned with a fresh breeze and bright sunshine, and as usual Grimwith Reservoir was treating us to cooler-than-normal temperatures as the northerly wind blew over the fells of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

One by one the sailors arrived, apart from three who had taken advantage of the free camping on Friday night and were privileged to a private camping experience shared only with oyster catchers, lapwings and nesting ringed plovers!

The day was perfect for sailing and spirits were high as we assessed the potential of the weekend ahead.  Six races were planned over the two days, the format was still to be decided and weighing up the weather, we plumbed for four races on day one and two on the day to follow.

Eight visitors and two home boats made up the fleet with the furthest traveller from North of Glasgow!  It’s always nice to see new faces joining us. 

Race one got underway in an eventful manner.  The PRO decided to abandon the race just after lap one due to some confusion with the course and the lead boat, so with a false start behind us, off we set again.  In the meantime Armstrong’s centre jammer had malfunctioned sending him ashore for urgent repairs.  Unusual events continued and shortly into race one, Honnor capsized, uncharacteristic for him, and opening up the top slots for all to fight for!  Dave Winder made the best of it with Tim Sadler in second, and our Scottish visitor Stuart Gibson in third. 

To cut to the end of events, Tim Sadler actually finished in 3rd overall, gaining himself the honour of report writer for the event, however, due to some selective amnesia and too much fun had on the day, Tim deemed himself unable to fulfil his duty and hence I stepped up.  Unfortunately this means you won’t get a blow by blow record of the races, as I wasn’t close enough to the main action to see what was going on, but I will fill you in best I can on how the weekend unfolded.

A slight change in course for race two with the wind swinging slightly.   Armstrong was back with the pack with everything functioning once more.  The course was slightly follow-my leader with the reaches more like fetches, but the strength was good and some fun could be had on the gusts.  David Winder managed to get his second bullet of the day with Martin H back on form after his cold dip bringing in a second and local John Colegrave showing us he knows his way around in third.

A new course for race three, meant we’d found a course we were really happy with.  Excellent sailing was to be had with the wind building slightly and lots of planing on the broad reaches.  Avoiding the strange holes up the beat was crucial, with lifts, headers and holes affecting individuals massively.  Lots of place changes ensued, apart from me of course who gets the prize for most consistent results of the weekend!  At least I stayed upright all weekend, a thing many can’t claim to be true for them!

Race four started with the wind pushing strong from behind over the dam wall and pushed most over the line resulting in a general recall, the course was the same as race three and the legs were well balanced.  Although we were all feeling the effects of four races in strong winds for the first time this season, with tired limbs we enjoyed blasting down the reaches, making the most of every gust.  At the finish line were Honnor in 1st, Winder in 2nd and Armstrong making top three for the second time that day.

David Winder held the overnight lead with all to fight for on Sunday.

Due to the relative low number of entrants, the club didn’t provide evening catering on the Saturday, however, they very kindly gave us full use of the facilities including the gas BBQ.  A quick WhatsApp earlier in the week had us arranging a Jacobs Join.  The evening went down a storm, helped by the beautiful weather, stunning scenery and the clubhouse acting as wind break as we enjoyed sundowners on the terrace.

Sunset over Grimwith - Photo by Justine Davenport

Sunday dawned bright and sunny but with some early mist swirling in the light airs.  The wind had swung as predicted to a westerly and it was due to build as the day went on.  We were due for a 10h30 start and all sailors were up and ready early, eager to compete and make the most of the excellent conditions.

Race 5 got underway cleanly and David was out trying hard to capitalise on the previous days efforts and ensure the effort paid off.  He managed to secure another win, followed by John Colegrave in second – again enjoying the heavy breeze, coming in third was Honnor, now knowing the weekend was out of his grasp.

Photo by Chris Everitt

The last race of the day got underway with more wind building, only to drop off quite significantly as the race unfolded.  At times there was next to nothing, and with the pressure now off David could relax.  Martin Honnor took the win with light-weight expert Andy Carter taking second and Tim Sadler coming in third, a great effort for first time out this season!

Overall positions were; Winder 1st, Honnor 2nd and Sadler 3rd.

Winners L to R; Tim Sadler 3rd, David Winder 1st, Martin Honnor 2rd

Photo by Justine Davenport

There were several competitors who had never been to YDSC before and all were mightily impressed with the venue.  The welcome was warm and friendly, the PRO and team were excellent, the facilities are exceptional and the setting (nestled within the Yorkshire Dales National Park) is stunning .  All in all we were treated to a superb weekend and we hope to be back for more events in the future.

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