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Regatta Olympic Trophy is a roaring success

With a forecast of strong winds and rain the conditions looked daunting for the Olympic Trophy on Saturday.  The forecast was accurate with winds averaging 15-20 knots for the best part of the day with gusts of up to 28 knots , thankfully we managed to miss any rain.

13 boats competed in the event, 12 adult boats and 1 junior.  

Although strong and gusty the winds were pretty steady from the south west enabling the race officer, Paul Kimmens, to set the course early with some epic reaches (even if I say so myself !). However just about 15 minutes from the start of the 1st race the committee boat started to drift very quickly towards the shore which prompted a swift call to the safety boat to tow it back into position. Fortunately the anchor held steady for the rest of the day.

In race 1 Alex Frost (Laser)  led the field with John Hammond  (OK) in 2nd and Chris Jeffries (Devoti D-Zero) in 3rd.  Race 2 saw a similar pattern with Frost, Hammond and Jeffries vying fo the lead.  After corrrecting times for handicap there was a dead heat for Hammond and Jeffries with Frost in 3rd.

Lunchtime could not come too quickly for the competitors with strong winds taking it's toll on tired arms and legs.  Alex Frost went for a quick nap in his car and decided that it was so comfortable that he did not sail in the  afternoon races!  Ian Bartlett decided that his shiny new sail was taking too much punishment and nipped home to get an old sail.

With the wind still in the same direction and as stong as the morning the course remained the same for the 3rd race after lunch. However on the last lap some ominously dark cloud clouds slid down the side of the lake almost killing the wind and creating a 90 degree shift to the right.  Fortunately the wind gradually started to bulid again and Hammond took 1st place by 3 seconds on corrected time from Jeffries with Ian Bartlett (Solo) in 3rd place.

The wind was a bit lighter for race 4 but had shifted to the right requiring a course change which introduced a run  that was not popular especially as the wind built during the race. Just before the start the wind shifted left by 30 degrees but the race officer let the start go and moved the windward  mark once the competitors had rounded it. Despite everyone feeling tired race 4 was very close with Hammond taking another 1st this time by only 1 second from Bartlett on corrected time with  Matt Sim (Laser) taking 3rd place.

A special mention for Fran Neale and Emilia Hampton in their cadet who, despite being the only juniors, completed all 4 races in possibly the strongest winds they have ever sailed in. They sailed impeccably and thoroughly enjoyed the racing singing most of the way around the course!  Well done girls, a throroughly deserved junior trophy win.

After 4 races and one discard the top 3 were as follows:-

1st  Jon Hammond (OK) - pictured.
2nd Chris Jeffries (Devoti D-zero)
3rd  Ian Bartlett (Solo)

A hard, but enjoyable, days sailing for all concerned prompting Chris Jeffies to state "Every part of my body currently aches! Awesome but brutal sailing today".

As part of the regatta many of the competitors, club members, and guests enjoyed some pulled pork with all the trimmings prepared by Pam Weeks and her team.  With real ale in the bar a skittles match followed with Dave Whittle taking the lead early on and hanging on to win a free pint at the bar.

The wind had taken it's toll and the revellers left for home or took to their tents for an early night. Noticable exceptions being Alison and Pat who  had more staying power than the rest of us and enjoyed a late night game of skittles (so I am told as I had already whimped out early to bed!).

A thoroughly enjoyable day all round.

Paul Kimmens

Paul Kimmens

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