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Shoreham Yacht Club: 2nd - 3rd May 2010

"Shoreham blows the cobwebs away!"

With the recent fertility of the Snipe fleet, I was unsure initially how many boats would make it to the Shoreham Open, but we were blessed with nine boats. I would also like to add my congratulations to Liz and Richard Pike on their imminent arrival of tiny feet in July, and also to Mark and Tracy for the arrival of William.

The sailing; well the forecast for several days prior had been force 4 north-easterly with rain. The latter arrived as expected but the wind was fickle all morning, only brief glimpses of hope were provided to the Race Officer that would allow him to set a course. We were sailing the event amongst Shoreham club racers whose commitment to the day was proportional to the distance they had travelled, so they came and went. This left the Snipes, Hornets and race team to demonstrate a determination against the fresh damp air.

With a slight whiff of breeze the countdown for the first race began, within seconds of the start the long awaited forecast materialised across the course, Sue and Steve Roberts connected with the wind first, they opened up a lead that required Andy Gibson and front seat driver Alan Williams to dig deep to close on them lap after lap. It took an extra lap beyond the finish for Gibson/Williams to get within striking distance of Roberts/Roberts such was their competitiveness.

Gregory/Munoz took up their favoured position of third without too much interference from Gregory/McSorley in fourth. It was below this that the main action was happening, positions fifth to ninth swapped places up the first beat, Tipler/lambert keen to show that the cold is no obstacle to an Orkadian but gear failure on the last round spoilt their plans. Paalman/Newson worked up so much speed in a brand new boat that a mark just did not have time to get out of their way, thus handing a place to Knight/Knight on home waters. Wibroe/Murdoch close on the tail probably had the best view of Prestwich/Bolton taking a bath on the downwind leg.

Due to the general chill and much to the delight of the female crews (probably also the male crews but they wouldn’t dare admit it), no further racing was held on the Sunday.

Monday brought hope, plenty of northerly wind and sunshine although the temperature was still fresh. There is though something a little unsettling with a brisk offshore wind. You launch into the safety and shelter of Shoreham Harbour, exiting with a force 4 behind you, but for every half mile you head out the wind picks up a force, your speed goes into double figures, nose burying becomes likely, a further increase of wind from some dark clouds helps to kill any optimism for the day. With a definite force 6 (maybe force 7) it was the Snipe fleet that decided to call time and head for shore.</p>\r\n<p>Thankfully whenever Snipers get together, meeting up with friends is on a par with the sailing, to that end Richard and Liz brought their bump, and Richard and Debbie Marshal brought 6 month old Bonnie for an introduction to the fleet. It was a great time to catch up and think ahead to the summer.

Thank you to everyone who kicked off the season at Shoreham, and congratulations to Sue and Steve Roberts for taking minimum points to win the event.

Images of the racing can be viewed and purchased at www.warwickpics.co.uk

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