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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Europe class open meeting at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Andre Ozanne 23 Aug 2023 07:59 UTC 19-20 August 2023
Europe open meeting at Stokes Bay © Carl Downing

The forecast looked good the entries arrived later than hoped, the Europe class mustered seventeen boats, the OKs eleven and RS300s nine, so 37 boats on the Solent.

Carl Downing and team set up a course to keep separation from the 300s starting first with Europes next and OKs third, It generally worked well some of the leeward mark approaches were a little fraught on the Saturday when we had the 20 plus knot gusts, all in all from the Europe sailors we felt the other classes integrated on the course well and sailed with respect for the slower class.

A few sailors had just done five days of FED week and so were well versed sailing with a multitude of faster boats to get their thinking cap on and look for clear lanes, but to be honest it didn't always work.

Saturday was a bit of a grizzly day, a stiff south westerly blowing straight on shore and reasonably tricky launching and recovering if you are pond sailor, with a 1315 start and plenty of time to mull allowed a couple of our number to seek alternative entertainment, guess there was a bit of post Fed week blues. Talk on the shore was of some healthy wind against tide at 1300 as it changed and that may have irked some.

So Day one three races SW 20 plus knots! The tide was thundering west, which made a strong Lee bow on Starboard out to sea, so the theory was, go right inshore, then tack out to sea. This seemed to work, although the bay effect with the small headland just near the start may have influenced, certainly talk in the bar was of sweet spots just off shore, and a few shifts to play with, but buy and large, keep west of the fleet. Only a theory, but born out in 1st couple of races.

Off wind, out to sea, waves just not right, had to go a bit high, find a decent set, and follow them down, all about VMG. The local guys were clearly much better at it than the visitors, rolling the early leaders without batting an eyelid. The run, equally tricky, but some fun yards to be made, holding your nerve, running deep and low. Before coming up for the next set. The final downwind, waves finally behaving and a great sleigh ride to the leeward Mark.

Jeremy Hartley Stokes Bay topped out the overnight lead with a flash comment back on sure that 'every dog has its day' with a discard applied Jason Belben again Stokes Bay was in second having to drop and 18 for a gear problem,next on on points with 4 was John Rees Hayling Island and Tim Laws Restronguet in a demo Synergy Marine boat 4th on 8 points.

Mike Partridge HISC was fifth lapping up the breeze with 9 points and Emma Pearson SBSC 6th on 9 also and first lady. Lucy Boreham completed the first race with a third but injury during a windy wavy gybe knocked her out of the next two races. Jon Tweedle Castle Cove used the first race to re acquaint himself with Europe sailing after a long break and then knocked in a fourth for the next race. Hats off to Mark Swallow Tudor SC for getting around all three races an enjoying his new carbon mast.

Saturday night chilli was as feisty as the waves were on the top reach and enjoyed by all, lots of nattering and drinking Peter Macklin asked the classes if they wanted fun and games and a quiz, the consensus was that we were all just happy to sit and chat about the day we already had our fun and games, boats, Europes, recycling polyethelne boats, chumping up other types of boats to repurpose with our resident recycling guru Joe Penhaul Smith from Sustainable Sailing giving us hope that dinghy park wrecks will be re purposed, interestingly Tim Laws in his Synergy was using one of Joe's companies recycled dagger boards was one of our convos.

We were all pretty banjaxed and the idea of physical games contest between the classes was not going to happen, seeing the 300s cavort downwind and the number of capsizes I am surprised how they were able to walk upstairs to the bar. The bar stayed open till the last person didn't want to null the pain any more and all was well in the world.

Sunday started a bit lighter, but much the same course, puffy and patchy, and the tide now running hard east. So, being a bay on the south coast, the theory was now, get the port tack work done early close to the shore. Then suffer on the work out to sea. Or for the layman, go right.

Not sure it was the way forward in the 1st race, think Brian CB HISC port tacked the fleet in that one, no idea what was going on. Race 5 and 6, with the tide slackening off, and turning, really showed the benefits of knowing what the time is, with a couple of boats getting caught out by the change.

The sun shone the breeze went right the course was altered vey quickly and we then got fired up and had a general recall, every dog that has his day most likely wants another and day one dog wanted the pin amongst others!!!. The last race was so glorious that it seemed unkind of the RO not to hoist an extra lap extension flag !!! The results spell out what happened but basically a Stoke Sandwich with HISC in the middle Emma was fourth and first Lady and Tim filled in the top 5.

A great fun regatta, great venue, nice people, sunshine, and a beer waiting as you tallied off, what's not to like. Dan, Grace, Carl, Josh to name a few were super helpful for the event. Sharing with the OKs is a thing and Hayling Island has a Europe Finn and OK opening meeting on the 30th September 1st October so hoping to see a good turn out and some equally spice chilly and hopefully a guest speaker we most likely will gain some snippets of downwind sailing master classes.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st412Jeremy HartleyStokes Bay Saling Club7111‑8212
2nd389John ReesHISC2205‑72314
3rd235Jason BelbenStokes Bay Sailing Club1(DNC)223816
4th419Emma PearsonStokes Bay Sailing Club‑1036.847121
5th399Tim LawsRestronguet Saling Club46434(ONC)21
6th428Nigel ThomasHIS Head SC99((NC)51529
7th319Jonathan TwoodleCastle Cove SC/RAFSA1147(RET)6634
8th336Mike PartridgeHISC673‑11101137
5th423Simon JonesWPNSA55(DNC)1091241
10th248Joe Penhaul SmithStaunton Harold SC8108‑1251041
11th387Andre OzanneHISC(RET)891313447
12th151Mark SwallowTudor Belling Club121110‑15151361
13th425Richard EagletonSelling Club(ONC)DNCDNC811964.5
14th422Claim DavisHISC(DNC)DNCDNC914765
15th306Brian Campbell‑BottomsHISC(DNC)DNCDNC6121495
15th411Lucy BorehamChichester Yacht Club30(RET)DNCDNCDNCONC75
17th332Harriet MackinStokes Bay Saling Club(DNC)DNCDNC14161581

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