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"Blue Circle Sailing Club: 5th and 6th June

The 2010 Blue Circle Open, the first leg of the Yves le Bour trophy, looked to be a promising event with 15 Snipes registered including some international visitors from Belgium. The Saturday morning dawned with light and variable winds with the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. After a welcome briefing from our Race Officer (Derek Crouch), we set sail under no illusions about that dreaded Black Flag and the consequences of poor behaviour on the start line!! So, due to a sudden change in direction of wind (apparently), and the option of ignoring Derek’s instructions (more likely), the first race of the weekend saw some very keen and enthusiastic sailors leading to a general recall. The second start was more successful with only individual recalls for a couple of boats (including myself). There was a short first beat with Wim Saeys and Katia Royer rounding the windward mark first. This was closely followed by Andy and Carol Gibson and (the long awaited return of) Peter Wolstenholme sailing with his son Matthew. The race continued with Saeys/Royer leading and after 45 minutes, the race officer and his team shortened the course to allow us to get our lunch! The afternoon races started with slightly more breeze, and the changing direction meant new courses had to be laid. The second race saw a clear start with a clear split in the fleet up the first leg. This was initially led by Ian Gregory and Cecile Munoz but the smart sailing of Saeys/Royer meant that they were to take the lead and the second race. Close tussling between Richard Marshall and Alan Williams and Gibson/Gibson for third and fourth with Marshall/Williams coming out third, second went to Gregory/Munoz. The final race of the day saw Wolstenholme/Wolstenholme remembering where the accelerator pedal was on the borrowed snipe and from start to finish showed the fleet how to do it. Second place went to Saeys/Royer with Gibson/Gibson a very close third.

The evening was brilliantly organised with a very filling portion of Fish and Chips and a quiz organised by Sue and Steve Roberts. The party went on in the usual style and to add a slight variation, we were given the wonderful spectacle of Thunder and Lighting directly above, although this was not quite so lovely at three in the morning!!

Sunday saw the calm after the storm and with a storm still taking place in certain people’s heads, we set out on a windward/leeward course. The winds were very light and although did come in eventually, meant that Races four and five were very closely fought. Race four saw Marshall/Williams reaching the windward mark first and remained in first place for a couple of laps (wishing that the Race officer would shorten the course each time they passed through). Eventually, Saeys/Royer and Wolstenholme/Wolstenholme got through with the results in that order. Ian Knight and Debbie Marshall very nearly passed Marshall/Williams on the final lap and in the end settled for fourth. Race five was again a reminder of the skill of Wolstenholme/Wolstenholme with them leading from start to finish. Saeys/Royer had to work their way through the fleet after a poor start and only passing Marshall/Williams in the final stages. This close racing at the front of the fleet involved Mark Antonelli and Anita McSorley and Gregory/Munoz, with them gaining fourth and fifth respectively. The final race saw a reasonably consistent force three and with that Saeys/Royer demonstrated that they also had an accelerator pedal in their boat by leading from start to finish. Again, close racing between Antonelli/McSorley, Gregory/Munoz and Marshall/Williams meant that they were in that order until a mistake by Gregory/Munoz allowed Marshall/Williams to pass through on the final mark rounding leaving the first four places in that order.

Thank you to all at Blue Circle who helped to put this event together. Derek and his team put on some excellent courses as usual and the food was brilliant (Diana). Thanks to Ian Gregory who took a trowel out to the underwater islands before the racing and tried to knock them over to remove the hazards. In the end, gave up and marked them with tape so we could clearly see them!

A special thanks to Sue and Steve who worked tirelessly to put the whole weekend together. Blue Circle always offers close racing and I look forward to next year’s event.

Position Boat Helm Crew Points
1 BEL29977 Wim Saeys Katia Royer 6
2 GBR20557 Peter Wolstenholme Matthew Wolstenholme 12
3 GBR30316 Richard Marshall Alan Williams 16
4 GBR29374 Andy Gibson Carol Gibson 22
5 GBR30226 Mark Antonelli Anita McSorley 23
6 GBR30315 Ian Gregory Cécile Munoz 27
7 GBR29611 Sue Roberts Steve Roberts 31
8 GBR29164 Ian Knight Debbie Marshall 34
9 GBR30834 Eric Paalman Catherine Kelham 34
10 GBR30315 Brian Gregory Jenna Gibson 46
11 GBR James Prestwich Lucy 56
12 GBR29408 Peter Wibroe Caroline Murdoch 58
13 GBR28451-2 Andy Wibroe Justine Bennett 59
14 GBR29163 Pauline Penny Susan Robertson 67
15 GBR30048 Jason Grafton Ian Runbold 71

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