The wind forecast for the Emsworth Slipper D-Zero open meeting was not exactly encouraging with dire warnings of 5 knot gusts, and this probably discouraged a few potential competitors. Indeed, on the morning of the event Emsworth’s Mill Pond was exactly that with not a ripple to be seen. However, by late morning there were signs of some sort of thermal activity although to call it a sea breeze would be a slight overstatement. Six visitors joined the local fleet for the day, and it was game on.
Race officer Dave Cockerill and his team set a trapezoid course with a challenging start line on the edge of the deep water channel. Race 1 set the tone for the day with Ian Morgan leading soon after the start, and a game of chicken followed for the first beat, with those who dared to sail furthest into the shallows to cheat the tide without running aground making significant gains. It seemed reasonable to assume that local knowledge would help here, although D-Zero’s own David Valentine proved that this was not necessarily true……….twice!!
Ian led around the windward mark, and maintained his position around the next three marks…..we could all see where this was heading. However, the Fat Lady hadn’t sung yet, and on the final beat to the finish Adam Humphrey who had borrowed the demo boat for the day managed to sneak ahead to take the win, followed by Ian with Ben Oakley third.
There was a tad more breeze for race 2 and John Aston took an early lead but was overtaken by Ian shortly before the first mark. This time Ian made no mistake and maintained his lead, pursued by John and Tom Southwell.
Race 3 started close to high water. The lack of flood tide caught a few out, with several judged OCS. Richard Major led the fleet around and crossed the finishing line to a deathly silence.
However, the Netley duo had made no such mistake and the finishing order was Ian, Tom and Adam.
Determined that everyone should get their money’s worth, the race officer called the fleet to the start for a fourth race. By now the wind was dropping, the ebb tide was making itself felt and tea was calling. The first beat and reach were dispatched pretty quickly, to be followed by a long run against the tide. The top three finishing positions were a repeat of the previous race.
In the final reckoning, overall victory went to Ian Morgan, with Adam Humphrey taking second from Tom Southwell on countback. Special mention should be made of Richard Major who ensured his appearance in the prizes by getting his boat almost terminally stuck in the weed just after leaving the slipway, hence earning the coveted “Muppet of the Day” award! Many thanks to the race team who ensured great racing throughout the fleet in tricky conditions, and to all those behind the scenes providing safety cover and the all important tea!
|2nd||No Numberr||Emsworth Slipper SC||Adam Humphrey||1.0||(6.0)||3.0||3.0||7.0|
|4th||176||Emsworth SC||Ben Oakley||3.0||5.0||(19.0 OCS)||5.0||13.0|
|5th||186||ESSC / Thorney Island SC||Tim Weeden||4.0||4.0||(8.0)||8.0||16.0|
|6th||102||Emsworth Slipper SC||Stuart Coles||5.0||(7.0)||6.0||6.0||17.0|
|7th||3||Grafham Water SC||John Aston||9.0||2.0||(19.0 OCS)||7.0||18.0|
|9th||173||Emsworth SC||Peter Jenkins||7.0||14.0||5.0||(16.0)||26.0|
|10th||151||Emsworth SC||James Jenkins||14.0||10.0||7.0||(17.0)||31.0|
|11th||187||Emsworth Slipper SC||Simon Boylin||6.0||11.0||(19.0 OCS)||15.0||32.0|
|12th||66||Emsworth Slipper SC||David Valentine||12.0||9.0||(14.0)||11.0||32.0|
|13th||116||Emsworth Slipper SC||Jo Humphrey||8.0||12.0||13.0||(19.0 DNF)||33.0|
|14th||268||Emsworth Slipper SC||Simon Robinson||(16.0)||13.0||10.0||12.0||35.0|
|15th||169||Grafham Water SC||Richard Major||15.0||17.0||(19.0 OCS)||4.0||36.0|
|17th||121||Emsworth Slipper SC||Scott Derham||(17.0)||16.0||9.0||13.0||38.0|
|18th||133||Emsworth Slipper SC||Jez Adams||13.0||(18.0)||11.0||14.0||38.0|