A shifty force 3 north westerly greeted the competitors at the Bough Beech open meeting on 15th April. The fleet got away at the first attempt and it was Dave & Emma Derby who got to the windward mark in front. Despite strong challenges from Mike Green & Lynn Ratcliffe and Tom Wright & Chris Coulcher the Derby’s held on to win.
The second race was led from start to finish by Dave Jessop & Sophie Mear. They got to the windward mark in front & the planed off into the distance in a gust lapping several tail-enders in the process. The Derby’s and Wright/Coulcher scrapped it out for second & third a long way behind eventually finishing in that order. After lunch sun came out, the wind picked up a little and the third race was a much more closely contested affair.
Wright/Coulcher rounded first closely followed by Simon Cory & Denise Judd. The chasing pack was led by Jules Bradley & Helen Cafferata, Green/Ratcliffe, the Derby’s and Jessop/Mear.
Places changed many times but at the end it was the Derby’s who took the honours followed by Jessop/Mear and Bradley/Cafferata. With all to play for in the last race it was Bradley/Cafferata who took an early lead from Elliot Marks & Heather Denbigh and Wright/Coulcher. At this stage the Derby’s were in the pack with Jessop/Mear even further back. At the end of the first round though it was Mike Warwicker & Kate Fitzsimmons who had got through to take the lead closely followed by the Derby’s and with Jessop/Mear still chasing.
On the third round however Jessop/Mear picked up a gust downwind to plane into a lead which they never relinquished to take the meeting on count back & open the defence of their SEAS title with a win.
A big thanks must go to race officer Barry Wolfenden who managed to run four good races in very shifty conditions with a minimum of fuss & no hanging around.
Image: Dave Derby