Report by David Downs
A Second Consecutive Podium Finish for the Boys from Sheppey
Four Ospreys from the home club were joined by five visitors for the Osprey Open Meeting, part of the Wilkinson Sword Traveller’s circuit, at Tata Steel Sailing Club at Margam in South Wales on the 20th and 21st May.
On Saturday, the wind was from the west and somewhat stronger than had been forecast. Race Officer Alyson set a typical Tata course with two beats across the lake and some exciting reaches. The racing was very close, with a few spills and incidents on the way round and father and son team Simon and Ben Hawkes coming out on top in all three races despite problems with their twin pole system which only allowed them to fly the spinnaker on one reach. This may have been a positive advantage as the rest of us struggled in the increasing breeze.
For Sunday, the wind had swung around to the South giving a superb beat of around three quarters of a mile along the length of the lake and some very interesting reaches and gybes on the way back. Peter Lloyd and Tim Bowden sailing 1088 the oldest boat in the event and over forty years old had now got their communications sorted and won the first race of the day. Normal service was however resumed for the last race with Simon and Ben winning again to complete a well-deserved win.
Second place was taken by Ken Brown and Chris Butters from Isle of Sheppey who completed a second podium finish hot on the heels of their similar result at Mounts Bay.
Could they be the team to watch in this year’s Wilkinson Sword competition?
A selection of comments from the competitors: -
Tim Bowden in 1088 “Great sailing and hospitality.” Having been temporarily (he hopes) dropped by Emma he enjoyed some very encouraging bits but found that mistakes were punished by a very competitive fleet.
Oscar Chess in 1348 “Some great racing but Sunday had more bottom inspections than a Beyonce concert!”
Ben Hawkes in 1356 “Excellent Race Team and galley staff, providing amazing grub for ‘launching Dad’s Paunch’”
After an individual recall in race 4 Simon retaliated with “Don’t trust NEMO when he says you are over the line !!” the corollary of the story being Ros in 1114 “Don’t trustDavid when he says we have dipped back far enough it can’t possibly be us.” It was of course!
Andrew Jenkins of the home club in 1336 enlisted the help of current National Champion DJ Edwards in the front end. A conversation over heard “Put the nose down, put the nose down…… PUT THE NOSE DOWN!!”…………But DJ, I didn’t pick it up!”
Oscar has footage of the event from his GoPro mounted on the top of his mast. We all look forward to seeing the port tack starting shenanigans of a certain multiple World Champion! You know who we are talking about.
The final word must go to Ken in 1338 following a port/starboard incident. “Never gone so quickly – from first to last – must be a record!” But he finishes with “Second podium yay! Lol!
Don't think this was 753 - just using those sails.