Inland Championships Silver Fleet report
Race one saw ex-class chairman Nigel Scott & crew Rachel Rhodes storm off into the distance with the Gold fleet in hot pursuit, only to drop a few places down to 4th by the end of the race. Chris Whithouse & Tom Castle had a good race to keep on the heels of Scott & Rhodes gathering up a few Gold fleet stragglers along the way to pick up an 11th. David & Georgina Hand took the initiative and battled well to finish a couple of places behind Whitehouse/Castle
Race two saw Chris & Ann Biglin move through the field and hold their own in the top of the fleet posting a 7th and laying down their intentions for the weekend. Whitehouse/Castle had something to say about this and again kept close to the Biglinís but could not get as close as the wind shifted to the right. Geoff Mayhew & Kim Lamb moved progressively through the fleet to finish just behind Whitehouse/Castle posting a 17th.
Race three was the first general recall, and as suggested by the race officer the Black flag went up on the next start. Whitehouse/Castle were a little too eager and picked up a BFD, whilst Tim Vick & Sarah Beatty from Manchester University took Silver fleet honours for the race claiming a 10th place from Mayhew/Lamb (16th), the Biglinís (17th) and Matt Stearn & Adam Owens (18th).
Race four saw the wind picked up to a good force 4 and it was a good test of the metal of the Silver fleet helms as the black flag went up again. Relishing the conditions Whitehouse/Castle posted a fine 2nd with the Handís finishing close behind in 6th.
Richard Adams & Paul Nobel came out of hibernation to post their best result of the weekend coming in 11th, closely followed by the Biglinís in 12th.
Race 5 saw 28 knots at the committee boat but the fleet was sent under way. The Handís took full advantage of their experience and battled away to get an 8th place from the Biglinís in 11th with Stern/Owens posting another top 20 result. Whithouse/Castle were once again OCS which put an end to their low points tally up to that point. A few breakages occurred during the race, which saw Scott/Rhodes retire at the leeward mark with a broken jib luff wire fitting and DanWatson & Justin Denny breaking a boom.
The final race saw the wind staying around 20+ knots to give the fleet a final workout. Mayhew/Lamb posted their best result of 11th, followed by the Biglinís, Team Stearn/Owens and the Handís.
Overall the Biglinís, showing their continued form and ability in the strong winds, collected the Silver Fleet honours with 6 results in the top 20, finishing12th overall. The Handís, doing their best to disrupt the Biglinís weekend, had to settle for 2nd Silver fleet which placed them in an overall position of 15th. Not to be out done with the glory, Team Mayhew/Lamb came in 16th overall. Fourth in the Silver fleet went to another Manchester University boat crewed by Jack Banks & Penny Jeffcoat, who posted 6 consistent results, to finish 19th overall. Team Stearn/Owens did enough to collect the last of the honours coming in 22nd overall.
Stu Allen - 04th July 2007