Persistent heavy rain and very windy pretty well sums up the appalling weather conditions at Coombe Cellars on Saturday morning and this inevitably meant a reduced fleet of boats to compete in this year’s two day Solo Open Regatta. Nonetheless, the thunder and lightning had passed over and we were pleased to welcome three visiting helms to sail with our Club Solo sailors.
With the wind virtually due East, our Race Officer, Don Harrison, was able to set a long fair beat straight down the river with a couple of testing gybe marks to take the fleet back down to the leeward mark before turning up wind again and back through the start gate.
In race one returning visitor Roger Battersby (South Bingham) powered up the beat to round the first mark well ahead and went on to win by a comfortable margin from Solo coach Simon Jones (TCYC). Peter Hearne (TCYC) just held off Graham Tapper (TCYC) on the line to take third place.
Race two saw a shakeup of fortunes amongst the top four with Jones finishing ahead of Battersby and Tapper taking third spot ahead of Hearne. Overnight, Jones and Battersby were tied in first place with 3 points apiece and Hearne and Tapper equal third with 7 points.
By Sunday morning the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped to a more comfortable 15mph, mainly from the East but with a hint of North in it. This meant a course pretty much the same as the day before being laid by the race team.
Battersby led race three by what looked to be a comfortable margin but with the wind dropping off Jones managed to close the gap and an incident at the final leeward mark resulted in the longtime leader having to complete penalty turns. This let Tapper through to take second place behind Jones.
Jones was over the line at the start of race four and although he recovered well to finish in second place it was another win for Battersby with Dave Northcott (TCYC) third.
For the final race of the Regatta the wind had dropped to a light breeze and Jones only had to finish ahead of Battersby to take the overall win. As it turned out Battersby could only manage third place behind Jones and Hearne.
First Simon Jones (TCYC)
Second Roger Battersby (Sutton Bingham)
Third Peter Hearne (TCYC)
Best Veteran Simon Jones (TCYC)
Best Grand Master Graham Tapper (TCYC)
For Full Results Click Here
The days racing was followed by the prize giving in the Clubhouse where competitors and helpers enjoyed a splendid buffet prepared by Annie and Julia Hearne.
As usual, and behalf of all the Solo sailors, many thanks to those Members who undertook duties to support this year’s Regatta and especially those of you in the Committee and Safety boats who got absolutely drenched on Saturday!