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!

Rank SailNo Club HelmName R1 R2 R3 R4 Nett
1st 250 Netley Ian Morgan (2.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0
2nd No Numberr Emsworth Slipper SC Adam Humphrey 1.0 (6.0) 3.0 3.0 7.0
3rd 217 Netley Thomas Southwell (10.0) 3.0 2.0 2.0 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
8th 267 TISC Steve Bromley (11.0) 8.0 4.0 10.0 22.0
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
16th 181 NHEBSC Gordon Stewart (18.0) 15.0 12.0 9.0 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