Report by: Keith Bartlett
Making a welcome return to sample the unique charms of ODC, (no bar and no showers!) ten Sprint 15ers travelled to East Preston in Sussex, to join six boats from ODC to take part in the Windsport Catparts Sprint 15 travelers series, for a weekend of close racing. New to the event were Stuart Pegrum from Queen Mary SC sailing 1918 (Gordon Goldstone’s old boat) and Cedric Clemerson from Pevensey SC, bravely getting to grips with his first outing at an open event in 1201.
The forecast for the event was F4-F5 winds interspersed with heavy rain showers.
Race 2 was sailed back to back, but in the period of waiting for all the fleet to finish the first race, both the wind and the chop increased. So it was blowing a pretty steady F5, when the horn went for the start. The first beat saw many helms having problems getting good boat speed in the chop, but that man Dutch trapezed his way to the front, and steadily increased his lead over each lap. Back on the water, having jettisoned his jib and redundant trapezing gear, Dave Casal was making up for his disappointment in Race 1, and was chasing Dutch all the way round, having established almost a leg’s lead over the next pack of Sandells, Goldstone and Rickard. Sandells had already survived unscathed a T bone incident on the way to the windward mark, whereas ODC’s Terry Nowell had a nice junk missing from his bows and wisely decided to retire. Elsewhere on lap 1, Keith Bartlett was having problems with his rudder bar coming adrift twice, and dropped to last place whilst fixing it. However it was all in vain, as “FREDDIE” did a graceful snow plough close to the gybe mark, breaking two battens in the process- so another ODC helm was forced to retire. Meanwhile Dutch was keeping up a relentless pace, and lapping several of the other boats. At the gun, it was a victorious Dutch with over a 2 minute lead on handicap over second placed man Dave Casal, who was over 2 minutes in front of Frank Sandells in third place. A total of five boats retired, reflecting the conditions. So after two races, Sport mode and Sprint mode had each won a race.
During the lunch break, which was interspersed with showers and more wind, R/O Roberts and ODC’s organizer Bartlett, conferred with the helms and decided that with a rising tide, and highly unpredictable weather, that the afternoon’s race would be cancelled. Thus many competitors were well into several beers by the time the traditional ODC BBQ, got underway around 5 pm. Chef and Sprint15 helm, Terry Nowell supervised the cooking in spirited style, with the competitors and helpers almost cleaning Terry out of stock. Correction, or was it just Kevin Dutch putting on some extra lbs in anticipation of Sunday’s racing.
Sunday saw more wind, rain, plus some hung-over helms. With the forecast again uncertain, it was agreed to drop both the Pro Am and the 5th race, and just run a rapid 3 lapper around a diamond shaped course. There were only 6 starters, with several of the ODC boats deciding to sit this one out. Dutch once again had the measure of the conditions, and drew out a steadily increasing lead on each lap over Sandells, with Rickard and Goldstone battling it out for 3rd and 4th places. At the gun, Dutch had done enough to beat Sandells by over a 1 min 30 sec on handicap, with Rickard just pipping Goldstone on the final beat to take 3 rd place.
Full Series Results available here
Windsport Voucher Winners: