Waldringfield Challenge Open Meeting

Chris Fish - 16th November 2009

16 Waldringfield Larks welcomed top visitor teams Steve Hall and Ally Dart and Richard Bennett and Rachael Rhodes to join them for the WSC Lark Open over 7/8 November. Speed Sails kindly provided prize vouchers.

The wind was forecast to back all weekend, which it did, starting with a westerly F2-3 on Saturday. The PRO set a simple triangle-windward-leeward course down river of the island. Harry Pynn/ Kathy Neuteboom took races 1 and 3 convincingly, with Christopher Fish/ Beth Condie second. Ian/ Alyson Videlo benefited from those old “Frensham” shift reading skills to take second equal in Race 1. Fish/Condie in turn used third place prerogative on the last beat of Race 2 to steal victory on the line from long time race leaders Pynn/ Neuteboom, as they duelled with Bennett/ Rhodes who also stole second place.

In an Open of two halves Sunday’s races were all won convincingly by Endeavour Trophy runner up helm Alan Krailing but with top local Cadet helm Emma Knott crewing replacing Edd McArdle for the day. Race four was set around a figure of 8 course, beating against the tide, again down river of the island. Krailing/ Knott caught up from way back by best using the shifts and pressure differences. Hall/ Dart were second and all could only be impressed at how easy Krailing/ Knott made it look.

Races 5 and 6, after lunch, were sailed with more water and returned to a triangle-windward-leeward course. An interesting dilemma was posed by the light SE wind and flood tide. The choice was to either go hard right close to the Waldringfield bank and out of the worst current or stick it out in the channel hoping for a lift on port to leebow the tide and hope the pressure held good. Many places were changed even though it was predominantly a port tack beat. Fish/Condie picked off rivals in front to take second from Bennett/ Rhodes 3rd in race 5. Going into the final race, Fish/Condie had a narrow lead overall with one discard from Pynn/ Neuteboom and Krailing/Knott. Matthew and Emma White led for much of the race pursued by Krailing/ Knott who eventually won through. However, Fish/Condie recovered from a very poor start to third and win overall by the narrowest of margins again.