By Elizabeth Noblet
Nick and Geoff win Southern Area Championships 17/05/2016 (that’s the ‘Leigh sailing club’ GP14 cup) Maybe one day it will come back to Leigh on Sea…
The event had a good turnout of 11 boats, 4 of which were from the Welsh Harp SC. We also had Duncan Greenhalgh (GP14 Class President!) and Colin Quint travelled the furthest, all the way from Scotland to attend the two day event.
I’m also please to say Leigh Sailing club had 3 people representing our club. Steve and I who came 7th, (not bad considering Steve had me as crew) and Steve Browne who was crewing for Richard Ham (Tollesbury SC). They did really well and came 2nd overall. So not bad for our club members! I was also pleased to hear people commenting on how good ‘our’ GP14 open was. Unfortunately Stone SC couldn’t conger up the same good weather, as sunny Leigh on Sea did just the weekend before.
Well on the Saturday, the temperature had dropped, but there was good wind. So dressed in my dry suite to keep me warm, we managed to have 3 very good back to back races. However, they were not without issues. On the First race, the GP14 class President was unfortunate, and capsized early on in the race. He was even more unlucky when it then turtled and unbeknown to him at the time, the mast had got stuck in the mud. :o/ After quite some time, he did manage to free it. However, there was a firm reminder as he then continued with the races with a nice mud patch on the top of his sail.
Steve and I also had a few issues. On the second race. I was having issues with the spinnaker where it seemed to get tangled when I had brought it down. However I did eventually manage to free it for the last part of the second race. However after Steve had been distracted by trying to advise me how to fix the spinnaker while sailing, we then managed to miss out the very last mark on that race, so got a DNF. :o( Thankfully there is always one race you can discard from your results….. so we knew which one was going to be ours. Unfortunately for me, I continued to have issues with the spinnaker on the third race as well. I wasn’t quite quick enough to pull the sail and sheets into the boat when bringing the sail down. I managed to save the sail from going under the boat, but lost the battle with the sheet. So mid race, Steve is trying to helm the boat and give me instruction about how to un-tie and retrieve the sheet from under the boat, then re-attach it to the sail. It must have looks comical seeing me laying on the front of the GP14, hoping I wasn’t going to slid off while re-threading the sheets to re attach to the sail. This also tested my ability to tie a bowline under pressure. I would like to say it all turned out ok…… unfortunately although I think I might have managed to do a bowline, I had managed to miss thread it, so we gave up on the spinnaker for the rest of the race. :o( I wasn’t the only one who had issues with the spinnaker, Helens crew was so efficient at getting the spinnaker up, he managed to set it all up an flying without Helen raising it. I was wondering why it seemed to be flapping about, without being pulled up. He was lucky it hadn’t gone into the water, otherwise he should have been doing the same as me.
Sunday, was the complete opposite to Saturday. Although it started off a bit chilly, the sun came out, but the wind didn’t follow…. So as Stone SC has no restrictions to tide times, the race was postponed until after lunch time, when the light sea breeze finally appeared. With the late start on the second day, we only got 2 races in. I’m pleased to say I didn’t have any issues with the spinnaker, and at one point we were second very close to the champions and in second place. Sadly it didn’t last and we did fall back a few places.
I have to say, it was a great experience. Lots of fun competing with other GP14’s, and visiting another club, which used to have a big fleet of GP14’s in its heyday. I also got to meet Peter and Jean Daniels, who were keen GP14 sailors back in their younger days. It was great to reminisce with them, and hear about how much fun they used to have sailing GP’s. I’m sure sailing keeps us all young at heart!
Picking up where they left off last year Nick Devereux and Geoff Edwards from Budworth were worthy winners, with Richard Ham and Stephen Browne taking second and Helen Allen top female helm with Maciej Matyjaszczuk as crew took third place.
1st Nick Devereux and Geoff Edwards – Budworth SC
2nd Richard Ham and Stephen Browne – Tollesbury SC
3rd Helen Allen and Maciej Matyjaszczuk – Welsh Harp SC
4th Stephen Cooper and Chris Lomax – Welsh Harp SC
5th James Ward and Richard Withill – Papercourt SC
6th Andy Wadsworth and Andy Simpson – Welsh Harp SC
7th Steve Corbet and Liz Noblet – Leigh-on-sea SC
8th Duncan Greenhalgh and Colin Quint – Bassenthwaite SC
9th Vicky Broomfield and Richard Broomfield – Maylandsea SC
10th Dennis Adams and Kevin Laitak – Welsh Harp SC
11th David Innes and Arun Osborn – Frensham Pond SC