It was another perfect sailing day last Sunday (full tide, sun, F4 westerly) for Spring Series 4 in Gurnard Bay, and most of the late starters were tempted onto the water to give the biggest gate of the season so far with 57 entries.
The medium group was the most numerous and incorporated 2 growing classes, the RS100 single hander and RS500 crewed boats.
However, it was Paul Blowers in the lone Finn who took the honours from Mark Harrison and Mark Robinson, with Phil Wright in the first of the RS500s edged into fourth.
Of the mixed Laser group it was Martin Bean who established a good lead after the first lap across to East Lepe buoy which he held to the finish. Chris Hobday was second, with Martin Conder next in the first of the Radials.
The fast group were allowed to stretch their legs to Elephant buoy in Thorness Bay, and Keith Hayden finished with a 2 minute lead over the next boat which gave him the win overall from Phil Bunn and Steve Cole/Pete Green.
In the depleted RS400 fleet, the Bowen/Kellett boat made the crucial first cross on the beat in each race and was never headed thereafter. A battling Graham Deegan was next with Mike Acton third and Humphrey Carter (taking time off from parental duties) fourth.
Paul Jennings’ Hurricane and Robin Leather’s Shadow had the closest of contests in both cat races, with Paul Tanner and Mike Martin similarly engaged in battles for third on a course also set in the inviting open water of Thorness Bay. However, Martin bungled the race 2 finish by sailing a private course to Right Bay buoy and dropping down the order.
Jack Elsom’s lead on the water in the final group was just too slender to defeat the Ellis’ Feva, but enough to keep Alex Paterson back in third place.
Spring Series 4:
Cats race 1 : 1 Robin Leather, 2 Paul Jennings/Vykke Gill, 3 Mike Martin
Cats race 2 : 1 Paul Jennings/Vykke Gill, 2 Robin Leather, 3 Paul Tanner
RS400 1 & 2 :1 Paul Bowen/Shaun Kellett, 2 Graham Deegan/Judith French, 3 Mike Acton/Nicola Gill
Fast : 1 Keith Hayden, 2 Phil Bunn, 3 Steve Cole/Pete Green
Lasers : 1 Martin Bean, 2 Chris Hobday, 3 Martin Conder
Medium Handicap : 1 Paul Blowers, 2 Mark Harrison, 3 Mark Robinson
Slow Handicap: 1 Cordelia & Lily Ellis, 2 Jack Elsom, 3 Alex Paterson