UK South Eastern Championship

Blackwater, May 2-3, 2015. Report by Richard Marshall

The Snipe class again returned to Blackwater Sailing Club as hosts for their South Eastern Championship. The 2015 event welcomed 13 boats on Saturday with a blustery and chilly breeze from the North East which saw many drysuits hats and balaclavas being pulled from the wardrobes.

From the outset of the first race, it was clear that matters were going to continue from where they left off last year with racing being incredibly close. Iain Marshall and Ewan Harris led from the line but had the lead snatched from them on the final windward leg by Maxim Romain and Lloyd Roberts. On the run back to the club, Maxim and Lloyd watched over their shoulders as they were slowly reeled in by the chasing pack of Iain, Ewan and Alan Williams and Liz Pike and with less than 20 meters from the leeward mark, Iain and Ewan sneaked ahead of Maxim and Lloyd, a lead which they held to take line honours. Sadly celebrations were short lived for Iain and Ewan as they discovered they were OCS which elevated Maxim and Lloyd to first place with Alan and Liz taking second and Richard and Debbie Marshall picking up third.

Blackwater, May 2-3, 2015. Report by Richard Marshall

The Snipe class again returned to Blackwater Sailing Club as hosts for their South Eastern Championship. The 2015 event welcomed 13 boats on Saturday with a blustery and chilly breeze from the North East which saw many drysuits hats and balaclavas being pulled from the wardrobes.

From the outset of the first race, it was clear that matters were going to continue from where they left off last year with racing being incredibly close. Iain Marshall and Ewan Harris led from the line but had the lead snatched from them on the final windward leg by Maxim Romain and Lloyd Roberts. On the run back to the club, Maxim and Lloyd watched over their shoulders as they were slowly reeled in by the chasing pack of Iain, Ewan and Alan Williams and Liz Pike and with less than 20 meters from the leeward mark, Iain and Ewan sneaked ahead of Maxim and Lloyd, a lead which they held to take line honours. Sadly celebrations were short lived for Iain and Ewan as they discovered they were OCS which elevated Maxim and Lloyd to first place with Alan and Liz taking second and Richard and Debbie Marshall picking up third.

The start of Races 2 and 3 were again equally close however Alan and Liz seemed to have improved their map reading skills and made their way to the front with ease and took both races by some distance. Richard and Debbie and Maxim and Lloyd again found themselves in the podium places along with appearances from Ian Gregory and an outstanding performance by Jena and Ellie Gibson in race 3.

As the sun set on day 1 and the Maldon Gold began to flow, Alan and Liz were sitting in pole with Maxim and Lloyd second and Richard and Debbie third.

Sunday dawned a lighter wind affair and with the wind swinging significantly meaning that setting the course was to prove a challenge. The race officer however managed to get Race 4 away in a very light breeze from the north. As the fleet slowly made their way to the first mark against the ever increasing flood tide, there were significant splits in the fleet and the local knowledge appeared to be paying dividends. Once round mark 1 however the breeze stabilised and increased around the edges of the river which seemed to unpick the local knowledge advantages.

Race 4 concluded with Matthew and Peter Wolstenholme at the head of the fleet with Iain and Ewan taking second and Richard and Debbie taking third. Race 5 saw Eric and Lynn Paalman and Guy Welch and Peter Tipler (from the Orkney Islands) tostle for position this was closely followed by Richard and Debbie and Andy and Carol Gibson. The short tacking up the shore of the final beat saw several positions change as the boats that kept close to the shore benefited. The race was finally won by the 2013 and 2014 winner, Guy and Peter. Race 6 was a shorter race due to the dropping wind and the turn of tide. The fleet started very closely and although they spread apart by the 4th mark, the fleet was brought back together again by a tail wind on the final run down towards the two penultimate marks. This made the rounding of them very tight and interesting, positions changed and forward thinking put boats in advantageous positions with Ian Gregory coming out on top.

The weekend was full of tight racing and with places 4 to 6 all on the same points. And 1st and 2nd separated by only 2 points. Out of the 6 races, there were 5 different winners proving the quality of racing offered by the Snipe Class.

The UK Snipe Class would like to thank Blackwater Sailing Club for their hospitality and hope that we are able to return for the 2016 Snipe South Eastern Championships.

Helm

Crew

Sail Number

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Race 6

Total

Net

Place

Alan Williams

Liz Pike

30316

2

1

1

4

6

9

23

14

1

Richard Marshall

Debbie Marshall

29970

3

5

2

3

4

4

21

16

2

Maxim Romain

Lloyd Roberts

29367

1

3

5

10

5

8

32

22

3

Matthew Wolstenholme

Peter Wolstenholme

28541

6

10

6

1

9

2

34

24

4

Ian Gregory

28451

7

2

9

7

7

1

33

24

5

Guy Welch

Peter Tipler

27106

5

9

7

5

1

6

33

24

6

Iain Marshall

Ewan Harris

29501

13

4

4

2

10

7

40

27

7

Jenna Gibson

Ellie Gibson

29374

4

6

3

11

8

10

42

31

8

Eric Paalman

Lynn Pallman

30834

8

11

13

6

2

3

43

32

9

Andy Gibson

Carol Gibson

29977

13

7

13

9

3

5

50

37

10

Brian Gregory

30315

13

8

8

12

11

11

63

50

11

Sue Roberts

Steve Roberts

29611

13

13

13

8

12

12

71

58

12

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