© Scott Davies© Scott Davies© Scott Davies

South Staffs SC Open Meeting Report

Tony Hotchkiss - 22nd March 2011

Glorious sunshine welcomed the 28 boats to this year’s first Open Meeting. This was part 1 of a weekend double header in association with Shustoke SC. Unfortunately with the sunshine went the wind and what promised to be a fairly steady southerly became rather more variable!
Although the OOD, Bill Bradburn, had to abort the first start after a large wind shift, the fleet got away cleanly the next time. Stuart Hydon continued from where he left off the previous year to take an early lead, this year though he was crewed by son Nick. Early on he was chased hard by local light weather expert Mike Moscardi with Tracy Hitch. Unfortunately he could not keep the chasing pack at bay and John and Sue Billington and Chris White and Lucy Evans both from the home club, gave chase to Stuart and Nick but never got near enough to threaten their lead. Despite the variable gusts the fleet enjoyed close racing throughout.
After a relaxing and enjoyable lunch the 2nd race started with only a single recall. Again the Hydons shot into an early lead and were never challenged. Dave Young and Seonaid Fleming headed the chasing pack and they managed to hold off the following fleet for the rest of the race. John and Sue Billington came in third with a close contest between the next few boats right up to the line. After this the wind died and about 10 boats were timed out!
The final race looked as though it may get the most consistent wind of the day. The Hydons opted not to sail and so there were some six boats that could take second place by winning the last race. Chris White and Lucy Evans were one of these and they shot into an early lead and were never threatened. John and Sue again rode shotgun for the whole race with Nick and Jo Marlow following until the last lap when they dropped two places in the still shifty breeze.
As is so often the case the shifty and variable winds did not change the results substantially and those expected to do well did achieve their potential. Despite the difficult winds the OOD kept the races running smoothly and some unfamiliar start line discipline meant that the races got away first time every time. With weather more typical of May, a great day was enjoyed by all, even for those that arrived a little late!

1stStuart and Nick Hydon.Shustoke SC
2ndChris White and Lucy Evans.South Staffs SC
3rdJohn and Sue Billington.South Staffs SC
4thWill Croxford and Eleanor Davies.South Staffs SC
5thChris and Ann Biglin.Shustoke SC
6thNick and Jo MarlowAttenborough SC