The Midland SC GP14 open meeting, part of the Midland Bell Series was held at Edgbaston reservoir on Sunday 9th May 2021. Eleven boats took part, with five from the host club being joined by one boat from Staunton Harold SC and a magnificent turnout of five boats from Trimpley SC. Conditions were good, with a full reservoir and force 3-4 south westerly wind, gusting more at times making for exciting racing.
The first race saw Mike Homer crewed by Oliver Mclean in GP14 13204 – Midland SC take an early lead, one of the first boats to tack onto port after the start and going right up the beat and leading at the first windward mark. Mike and Oliver continued to lead the race for the first lap, however with three other Midland sailing club boats close behind positions changed many times. At the finish Mark McKeever crewed by Kevin Hopkins GP14 14208 took the win closely followed by Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey GP14 13326in second place and Chris Winters crewed by George Crabtree GP14 13176 in the third spot. With the locals showing the way round Darrell Sleep crewed by Charles Saunders (Staunton Harold SC) finished the first visiting boat in fifth place.
After a break for lunch outside in the sun, the second race got underway in a stronger wind. Again it was neck and neck at the first mark, however this time Chris and Samuel gained the lead and held onto it for the whole race to take the win. The strong and gusty wind caused a couple of capsizes keeping the safety boats busy. Other notable moments included Mark Mckeever unfortunately falling out of his boat on one of the gusty reaches and Chris Martin “throwing his toys out of the pram” at a tense windward mark.
Mark and Kevin eventually finished second and Mike Homer and Oliver Mclean were third. Chris and George finished fourth and the very consistent Darrell and Charles from Staunton Harold SC fifth once again.
With it all now to be decided on a final race, the third race was held back to back with the second on a new course. Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey led at the first mark and continued to lead the race for two laps. Some windy downwind legs caused some excitement and a few place changes. On the second last beat Mark and Kevin took the lead in dramatic style, making full use of a favourable wind shift, a lead which they held to the end. Chris and Samuel were close behind in second, with Chris Winters and George third.
A good day was had by all – See full results here.
It would not be possible to run this event without the invaluable help from the following people who gave up their day to help.
- Race officer, Richard Adams
- Assistant Race officers, Rob Kennaugh and Andrew Prosser
- Safety one, Paul Young and Nathan McGrory – Nathan also took the photographs with these reports in between his help with capsized boats.
- Safety two. Megan Ward and Evan Base, Megan and Evan also helped many of the first time open sailors from Trimpley SC with launching and recovery.
- Shore help and Maintenance, David Trott.
- Rules adviser, sailing instructions and notice of race, Steve Watson.
- GP4 fleet captain, entries, and prizes. Peter Storey.