Broadstairs, April 22-23, 2017. Results after 6 races (1 discard)
(Photo courtesy of Andy Gibson)
1. Alan Williams & Liz Pike, 8
2. Ian Gregory & MIke Ker, 9
3. Matthew Wolstenholme & Patrick Sarsfield, 12
4. Ian Marshall & Lloyd Roberts, 13
5. Richard Marshall & Debbie Marshall, 14
Report by Iain Marshall
Broadstairs Sailing Club welcomed the Snipe Class for their first open of 2017 and despite the forecast of heavy rain and no wind, upon arrival, the microclimate of the east Kent coastline greeted the fleet with brilliant sunshine but sadly still a lack of wind.
The 7 Snipes started Race 1 in a very gentle breeze punching the strong running tide. It was Sue & Steve Roberts who had the best start at the Pin end and led the whole fleet inshore to reduce the effect of the tide. Progress was excruciatingly slow for one and all and the race was eventually abandoned due to first leg time limits.
After some small course adjustments, more wind had arrived and the fleet got away cleanly. The fleet was split at both ends of the line with some choosing to take the longer inshore route with the rest of the fleet taking the shorter distance in the stronger tide out to sea. At the first mark neither upwind route seemed to have made significant difference as the fleet converged. After some nip and tuck around the shortened course, it was Ian Gregory and Mike Kerr that took the first bullet of the weekend.
The second race started in a dying breeze with the windward leg shortened significantly. The heavily biased line caused a bit of chaos however Richard & Debbie Marshall showed the fleet a clean pair of heels and built up a lead that they would take to the finish.
With the breeze dying away to almost nothing, the fleet retired for the day and were treated to the usual excellent evening hospitality from Broadstairs Sailing Club with a Saint Georges Day celebratory supper accompanied by some lovely local ales.
Sunday dawned with a distinct lack of breeze and postponement was the joint consensus across both fleets. The breeze gradually increased as the morning progressed and by the time race 3 started, a steady force 2 had at last arrived. After some proper Snipe Class nip and tuck racing, and what seemed to be continual lead changes on each leg, Alan Williams and Liz Pike eventually took the win with Gregory and Kerr second and Iain Marshall and Lloyd Gregory third.
By Race 4 the breeze had further strengthened from the south and it would prove to remain for the rest of the day. Matthew Wolstenholme and Patrick Sarsfield took their first race win in the Snipe Class in Race 4 which set up a final race show down.
With the top four regatta places separated by single points, Race 5 was going to be a hotly contested affair as it would ultimately decide the outcome of the regatta from 1st to 4th. Alan and Liz eventually pipped Gregory and Kerr to take the race win, with Matthew and Patrick pipping Iain Marshall and Lloyd Gregory for third place.
The finishing positions in the final race mirrored the overall regatta results with Alan and Liz taking the win ahead of Ian and Mike, with Matthew and Patrick taking third.
Broadstairs has been a regular event on the Snipe Calendar for many years, and despite the forecast, the event turned out to be another cracker. See you in 2018.
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