Snakes and Ladders at South Staffs

Steve Cumley - 27th March 2006

29 larks arrived at South Staffs SC for the second open in the Gill 2006 Belle Isle series. The wind was shifty and gusty throughout the day which allowed for an exciting game of snakes and ladders to be played out on the water. It seemed that half the fleet had the opportunity to lead a race at some point with big losses and big gains a plenty.

In the first race John Billington & Sue Mellor and Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones made up from dreadful starts to work through the fleet and catch run away leaders Stephen Videlo & Will Branton. Cumley & Jones sneaked past Billington & Mellor on the penultimate beat and covered to the finish. In the second race a break away bunch escaped after making the most of a very port biased line. Richard Bennett & Kelsey Suggitt led across the finish line with Billington & Mellor in second and James Stewart & Ruth Johnson in third.

Going into the final race, 5 different pairings had the opportunity to sneak the overall win. Videlo & Branton and Simon Cox & Seonaid Fleming made the best starts and led round the first mark with Cumley & Jones in third and Bennett & Suggitt in 4th. An exciting and tactical race then ensued. Cox & Flemming capsized meaning Videlo needed to push Cumley into 3rd and hold the lead to win. Cumley had to maintain at least 2nd and keep Bennett behind him to win. At the end though it was Cumley & Jones that took the race win and secured the open meeting for the second year running.

The competitors expressed their thanks to South Staffs SC for running a superb open meeting and to Muc Off for donating the prizes.

1st 2496 Steve Cumley & Eluned Jones 2 points
2nd 2487 Richard Bennett & Kelsey Suggitt 4 points
3rd 2485 John Billington & Sue Mellor 4 points
4th 2491 Stephen Videlo and Will Branton 5 points
5th 2495 David Marlow and Edd Bradburn 10 points