Thirteen boats had entered this years Tynemouth RS400 Open sailed over the 17th and 18th June: four visitors and eight local boats. Conditions looked light but the sun was shining and we were joined by a pod of dolphins swimming through the fleet on at least one occasion.
The first race was in 5/7 knots from the SE, with a strong tide running to the south the key was to get left of the start to maximise the tidal effect, although Carl Whitehead & Carol Milner had a brilliant first beat rounding the windward mark in third having gone hard right up the beat.
Ollie Groves & Esther Parkhurst were leading the fleet round followed closely by Phil Murray & Neil Schofield, with a tight battle in the midfleet going on with Andy & Alex Brown pushing ahead of the pack to sit in third which is how the results stayed after two laps.
Race 2 was more of the same but with a fading breeze on the last lap all was to play for, with Groves & Parkhurst sneaking the win from Murray/Schofield then a gap behind as the wind veered and died making the run to the finish line very difficult against the tide. Brown & Brown took third again.
With little sign of more breeze our PRO Howard Stevenson sent the fleet back ashore to enjoy a few beers and a chilli from the club.
Sunday brought four races, this time in the South Bay.
Race 3 started in a fickle 5 knot breeze. The fleet was tightly compact over the first two legs until Jacob Ainsworth & Kayleigh Roberts emerged ahead on the second lap which they took to the finish. They were followed by the pack lead by Murray & Schofield and Alex Oyston & Catherine Hide sailing well downwind for third.
The wind started to build and race 4 was started in 8 knots. The tide was less apparent than day 1 but the previous order was resorted. Groves & Parkhurst led from lap two to the finish, Murray & Schofield close behind in second with Brown & Brown coming in third.
Race 5 brought a steady and strengthening breeze and some hiking was had. The wind was up to 11 knots for races 5 and 6 making the sailors work hard upwind but they were not rewarded with any downwind planing. Groves & Parkhurst stole a march on field and led from mark 1 to the finish. Mark Powell & Elspeth Keating showed strong improvement over the weekend to take second place in the race with Brown & Brown in third.
Race 6 was similar to race 5: hard upwind racing with small gaps coming from speed rather than tide or shifts. Groves & Parkhurst not having it all their own way with Murray & Schofield leading for 1.5 laps, but succumbed to the pressure of Groves & Parkhurst who slipped by at the top mark.
Brown & Brown and Powell & Keating had a close race for third decided on the final leg with team Brown & Brown coming out on top.
As this was the Northern Tour, sponsored by Trident UK, there were vouchers won by:
£20 Alex Oyston
£15 Phil Murray
£10 Richard Fahey
A great weekend's racing with a full series of six races completed. Congratulations to Ollie & Esther who sailed great all weekend and came first overall.