Report and Results from Blithfield…
Blithfield Sailing Club hosted the Inland Championships over the weekend of 14/15 April with visitors as far afield as Isle of Man, Scotland, and Devon.
Saturday dawned with the very light breeze causing a postponement until conditions improved enough to go Racing. In Race 1 from the middle of the line Tony Woods broke into the lead, with Ian Hopwood, heading the chasing pack. It was a race where the leaders got richer, as Woods built a large lead over the rest of the fleet. Terry Curtis eventually got into 2nd with Keith Byers taking 3rd. Ian Hopwood slipped down the field after a navigational error but it it didn’t matter as he was one of three boats judged OCS.
In Race 2, again Woods got into the lead, this time from the Pin end. The chasing pack was ever-changing with 8 boats in 2nd position at some time. After a lap the ‘Rib of doom’ approached Woods to give the news that he was OCS meaning an early shower. The shifting conditions brought the experienced sailors to the front of the fleet rather than the young guns and Curtis took the gun in front of Alan Robinson, and Byers.
Saturday night was a splendid affair with Blithfield S.C proving what great hosts they are meaning that Sunday morning brought a few fuzzy heads to the galley for the first coffee of the day. Sunday also brought more breeze which was popular throughout the fleet meaning they could stretch the legs.
Race 3 and Woods took the lead again from the Pin end. Keith Byers was sailing faster than he has for many a year and seems to be improving like a fine wine and along with Ed Bradburn put pressure on Woods right up to the finish but they finished in that order.
Race 4 proved that new faces can take on the experienced names with ease and Anthony Osman smashed the race winning the race by a large margin over Curtis and Bradburn.
Race 5 was the decisive race with 4 boats in the hunt with the advantage with those not posting a discard already. Will Croxford mixed with the leaders throughout the race but slipped towards the end of the race. Curtis held his nerve to take the win and the championship, with Tom Lonsdale finding some form taking 2nd and Bradburn 3rd.
The OK fleet are now preparing for the next event which is the Spring Cup, in Medemblik Holland. A fantastic opportunity for sailors to sharpen their skills against some stiff International competition.
1st. Terry Curtis
2nd. Keith Byers
3rd. Tony Woods
4th. Ed Bradburn
5th. Anthony Osman
6th Duncan Ellis