Stone Sailing Club 23/24 June 2018
On the hottest weekend of the year a disappointingly small fleet of five boats arrived at one of the friendliest clubs on the circuit. Winds were forecast to be light but by launching time a steady 7/8 knot breeze was blowing.
A course was set 2 miles downstream of the club and the first race was started in a fairly steady light breeze from the west. Ben Iliffe with Paul Davies and Stuart Turnbull with Mike Priddle went left to dodge the tide. Martin Hodgson with Neil Fulcher and Matt Hart with Christian Diebitsch tacked off to the right and picked up a big lift and reached into the mark followed by Stuart and Mike who misjudged the tide and hit the spacer mark. The leading pair set off with a good gap behind them and after three rounds in a very shifty breeze Matt and Christian took the gun closely followed by Martin and Neil with Ben and Paul finishing third.
Race two got away with slightly more breeze with most heading left. Stuart and Mike who were furthest to the left were first round and built a comfortable lead. A sea breeze was starting to fight with the gradient breeze creating big changes in wind strength and direction. On the final run Stuart and Mike became becalmed allowing Matt and Christian to catch up on the new breeze and pip them to the line. Ben and Paul finished third.
Race three was started in similar conditions with another win for Matt and Christian followed by Martin and Neil.
Sunday morning dawned with a flat calm but enough breeze came to entice the Club handicap fleet to race. After much discussion we agreed to run a windward/leeward course off the Club line. Judging the line with a following tide proved difficult, catching Ben and Paul over. Stuart and Mike were first round and headed inshore out of the tide. When to gybe off into the tide to reach to the leeward mark was difficult to judge but Stuart and Mike maintained their lead and were never headed. Matt and Christian were third. Race five got away in similar conditions with Stuart and Mike leading all the way round closely followed by Terry Selfe and Ian Montague.
Thanks to the race team headed by Wendy Robinson and to the caterers, the best steak and ale pie in a long time.
1. Matt Hart/Christian Diebitsch
2. Stuart Turnbull/Mike Priddle
3. Ben Iliffe/Paul Davies
4. Martin Hodgson/Neil Fulcher
5. Terry Selfe/Ian Montague