GP14 Open at Midland SC on Sunday 18th June 2023

GP14 Open at Midland SC on Sunday 18th June 2023

The lull before the storm!

The race team and volunteers at Midland Sailing Club prepared for the days combined GP14 and Enterprise Open Meeting with a forecast for warm, sunny intervals breaking through an overcast sky but with a threat of thunder later in the afternoon. The day began with a light breeze that slowly abated over the course of the afternoon. The wind was forecast to veer from the east round to the north, but as is usual at Edgbaston Reservoir it was peppered with local wind shifts. However, Race Officer Rich Adams was more than up to the challenge, setting some excellent courses.

The three Midland boats were joined by six travellers from Nantwich Sailing Club, Staunton Harold Sailing club and Trimpley Sailing Club resulting in a fleet of nine boats.

Prior to the start of the first race the wind was oscillating a fair amount with a number of boats checking the line with a view to a port start. In the end, one boat took the courageous gamble but was forced to tack as the wind shifted back in favour of the starboard boats looking to sail up the left hand side of the course. This tack lea bowed Mike and Alex Homer of Midland SC who immediately tacked off and caught a beautiful lift across to the right of the beat. They then picked the shifts nicely to round the windward mark with a four boat lead. With good spinnaker work from Alex, they managed to extend their lead but never by enough to prevent the chasing pack from closing up. Eventually, with half a lap to go Oliver and daughter Harriet Dumbleton of Nantwich Sailing Club eased past with some super spinnaker work soaking down into the leaward mark, taking a lead that they held to the finish. As the wind tailed off, Peter Thomas and Dawn Frost from Nantwich Sailing Club and Darrell Sleep and Charles Saunders of Staunton Harold Sailing Club managed to pick better courses up the final beat to take second and third places respectively.

Following a hearty baked potato and salad for lunch prepared by the galley crew of Alex and Narinder the boats took to the water once more. The wind was lighter now and the RO set a new course to account for the veering wind direction. After a promising start by Phil Reeves and Verity Rose of Midland Sailing Club, the three leading boats broke away from the rest of the fleet to sail their own race with regular place changes but ultimately Oliver and Harriet triumphed with Peter and Dawn in second and Darrell and Charles taking third.

The third race required another course change and started in extremely light conditions which faded to almost nothing by the end of the first beat. Phil and Verity again judged the start well and led round the first mark closely followed by a condensed, slow moving fleet. As they crawled their way to the second mark the RO decided that the sound of thunder rolling around in the distance and the snail like pace of the fleet necessitated a repositioning of the finish line at the end of the third leg! The majority of boats were still bunched together looking for any sign of a puff of air as the finish line slowly approached. Eventually, a small wind shift allowed Peter and Dawn to cross in first, with Oliver and Harriet in second whilst Mike and Alex tacked on the shift allowing them to sneak home in third.

Typically, as we headed back to shore the wind picked up nicely. As the threatening rain storm loomed over us, everyone rushed to pack their boats away before the heavens opened.

Overall, Oliver and Harriet won the day with their first ever Open Meeting triumph. Congratulations to them. Second were Peter and Dawn giving the Nantwich boats a clean sweep. Darrell and Charles took third place, whilst Mike and Alex were first Midland boat coming home in fourth.

Thanks to the race team and volunteers at Midland Sailing Club for a great day sailing with close competition despite the failing wind and impending thunder storm!

Overall results

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 13868 Oliver Dumbleton Harriet Dumbleton Nantwich & BC 1 1 ‑2 2
2 13813 Pete Thoms Dawn Frost Nantwich & BC ‑3 2 1 3
3 14072 Darrell Sleep Charles Saunders Staunton Harold 2 3 ‑5 5
4 13662 Mike Homer Alex Homer Midland 4 ‑5 3 7
5 12761 Phil Reeves Verity Rose Midland ‑8 7 4 11
6 13780 Lesley Freeman Sue Webb Trimpley ‑7 4 7 11
7 12904 Peter Storey Sue Burton Midland 5 6 DNC 11
8 13975 Simon Fletcher Ben Sutton Trimpley 6 ‑8 6 12
9 13377 Peter John Nick Harrison Trimpley ‑9 9 8 17

Yachts and Yachting write up

Written by Mike Homer

Photos by Kevin Hopkins and Siobhan Adams