Leamington Spa SC hosts 2018 season opener

Leamington Spa Sailing Cub (formerly known as Mid Warwickshire Yacht Club) welcomed 6 visitors and fielded 4 home boats for the British Moth Class season opener on Saturday 7 April 2018. The weather was overcast and the wind was predominantly light and shifty which proved challenging and frustrating in equal measures for both competitors and race team alike.

Race 1 got underway after a major wind shift which meant that the first beat was now on leg 3. No matter that’s what happens on tree lined puddles! Tim Davison (Medley SC) was first out of the blocks with Toby Cooper (Broxbourne SC) and Gary Tompkins (Hunts SC) in pursuit. Davison and Cooper pulled away from the chasing pack. Unfortunately things started to unravel for Tompkins as the race progressed and Elaine Laverty and Peter Lee from the home club pulled through much to the delight of the spectators. The dying wind necessitated a shortening of course and with the positions unchanged first blood went to Davison.

After lunch, which included an impromptu celebration of a “significant” birthday for Gary Tompkins that involved cake with candles, balloons and a bit of a sing song as is required for these occasions, Race 2 got underway a little later than planned. The wind had filled in and was much more steady in direction. A fresh course was set and the first and subsequent beats held good for the duration of the race much to the relief of the race team. This time it was Cooper who showed a clean set of heels and led the fleet away. Davison found himself pushed down the fleet. Lee showed some very good form and was hanging on to Cooper’s tail at the end of lap 1. Unfortunately it was not to last and over the next 6 laps he was overhauled and by the finish could do no better than 7th. Davison on the other hand made good his losses and fought his way back to second place but was no match for Cooper who took the gun unchallenged.

Race 3 was sort of held back to back allowing those competitors of a certain age and the Race Officer enough time out for a quick comfort break! The course was not changed but needless to say the wind did. A couple of helms including Cooper found themselves OCS and had to make the return trip. Davison took the opportunity to get ahead fetching the first mark with Cooper well down the pack. However, by the end of the first lap he had fought his way up to second place. A cat and mouse game was fought out between the two with upwind tacking and downwind gybing duels keeping the spectators on tenterhooks. Further back another interesting battle was developing between Laverty and Ian Haywood (Frampton on Severn SC) Haywood eventually got the better of her and was doing his level best to chase down the leaders but it was not to be. As the course was shortened we witnessed one final tacking duel between the leaders. Cooper tried his level best to break cover but Davison was having none of it and led to the finish to take the race and the series.

The boats were all packed away and yet more cake was brought out. During the prize giving and après sail the competitors were pleased to note that whilst the Club may have changed its name to something which is more reflective of where it is and what it does, it remains the quirky but friendly little place round the back of the allotments that it always was and will hopefully be on next year’s fixture list!

Overall Results:

Pos Helm Sail No Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1st Tim Davison 892 Medley SC 1 ?2 1 2
2nd Toby Cooper 887 Broxbourne 2 1 (RET) 3
3rd Elaine Laverty 886 LSSC 3 ?4 3 6
4th Ian Haywood 871 Frampton ?6 6 2 8
5th Gary Tompkins 882 Hunts SC ?5 3 5 8
6th Peter Lee 888 LSSC 4 ?7 4 8
7th Jenny Bentley 784 Maidenhead 7 ?10 6 13
8th Abby Freeley 883 Hunts SC (RET) 5 RET 16
9th Duncan Laverty 860 LSSC (DNS) 8 DNS 19
10th Stella Ellard 849 LSSC (DNS) 9 RET 20