What a fantastic finale to the Sunday Winter Series with a superb easterly breeze providing windy, but steady conditions. Equally as exciting was that the last race turned out to be pivotal in deciding the eventual winner of the series!
There were 29 entries in the series with a respectable twelve achieving the minimum 6 races to qualify. The racing for the top four was close with all managing to sail at least 13 races. Richard Charles managed to strike up 14 races which was the highest number in the entry list.
Richard Charles had been the event series leader for a number of weeks having established some cracking early results by beating fellow Solo sailor Cole Briscoe and holding at bay Stuart Hydon and Jane Scott-Davies in the Lark. In the meantime outside the top 3, Peter Smith sailing a Phantom was battling with single-handed Tony Fulford who was demonstrating considerable speed in his Comet Trio. Slightly further behind was Tim Mardon.
At the beginning of February the tables were starting to turn with both the Stuart/Jane team and Cole delivering better results over Richard. The penultimate race day (19 March) saw a particularly fierce wind, with only Stuart and Tim (in his Laser Radial – depowering for the day), venture out. During the one race held that day Stuart narrowly missed lapping Tim twice owing to Tim’s propensity to swim around the course. Credit goes to both who manged to complete the course.
Going into the final Sunday in March and last race, it was Richard leading having already achieved 6 wins, the minimum possible score. In second place was Stuart with 5 wins, needing a win in the final race to give him the title on count back. With the final race underway Stuart led the Solo fleet from the start with Mike Evans providing the only threat. The next difficulty was passing all of the Mirrors, particularly Len Kniverton who was fired up following his winter hibernation. Eventually Stuart passed the Mirrors and was relieved that there was no threat from the Phantom fleet who were someway off in the distance. The win meant that Stuart/Jane snatched the Series from Richard followed by Cole Briscoe in third.
Within the Mirror fleet it was Fred Gilbert who was home first and 7th overall. Brian Nicholson came in second and 9th overall just ahead of Fred Briscoe in 10th overall.
Next weekend (1st and 2nd April 2017) sees the start of the Spring Series with hopefully even more runners and riders. Please also note that there will be 3 races per day. The first two races count as one series followed by a separate series for the 3rd race. The race times are: 11:30 Pursuit, 13:30 Handicap and 15:30 Pursuit.
CLICK BELOW FOR THE RESULTS:
Winter 2016:2017 – Sundays R1 & R2 (PDF)