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    RS400s at Yorkshire Dales SC 21st May

    9 visitors joined 6 home boats for the second leg of the RS400 Northern Tour held at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.  In previous years, the wind had pulled boat covers from the hands and masts had to be stepped in the lee of the clubhouse, so it was with a certain amount of relief to arrive on a relatively quiet and calm Sunday morning.  It looked like the force 2 to 3 Southerly breeze that had been forecast would actually happen.

    The fleet headed for the start line, ahead of the menagerie of boats competing in the club’s windward leeward event.  The Southerly wind left the OOD Graham Tinsley with the difficult job of setting a windward/leeward course across the width of the lake, with a swing and gusty breeze.  Bill Kenyon and Mark Lunn from Budworth SC were quickest out of the traps at the favoured port end and soon tacked onto port in what looked like a healthy position.  However major shifts were as common as new political manifesto pledges, and nearly as tiresome - they kept coming and kept the pack shuffling.  Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman from Delph SC joined Kenyon/Lunn at the front of the fleet, with Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop from Leigh and Lowton SC.  Hamish Gledhill and Steve Blackburn from West Riding Sailing club joined the party at the front but a clumsy collision left them turning like a spin doctor (without the doctor), and dropping from the bunch.  However, it was Dave Exley and Nigel Hall from Leigh and Lowton SC, continuing Dave’s form from the Sprints, who adapted to the shift gusty conditions best to take the bullet, in what was a tight encounter with Pickles/Sharman and Catchpole Coop.

    As the wind swung left the OOD quickly moved the windward mark, and re-set the line for another true windward/leeward course.  Once again Exley/Hall mastered the conditions to take the bullet ahead of Catchpole/Coop and Pickles/Sharman.  The fleet headed ashore for a much needed breather and the shedding of a layer or too – is this really Yorkshire Dales?

    After lunch race 3 was soon underway, with Jacob Ainsworth and Kayleigh Roberts from South Shields SC making the early running and joining the scrap at the front of the fleet, along with Louise McKeand and Matt Jenkins from Leigh and Lowton SC.  The positions in the top 7 or 8 changed as much as a pollsters predictions in a tight marginal, but the final positions had a certain predictability about them, with Exley/Hall maintaining their excellent form to take the win, ahead of Pickles/Sharman and Catchpole/Coop.  The win had given Exley/Hall an unassailable lead but all was to play for going into the final race for the placings.

    Once again positions changes were frequent with McKeand/Jenkins, Gledhill/Blackburn joining the top three in having a turn at the front.  In the end, it was Pickles/Sharman who took the bullet, and with it second overall ahead of Exley/Hall and Catchpole/Coop.

    At the prize-giving Dave Exley thanked the club, and in particular the OOD and race team, for running the event.

    Report by Hamish Gledhill

    RS400s at Yorkshire Dales SC 21 May 2017            
    Rank Sail No Club Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
    1 1460 LLSC Dave Exley Nigel Hall 1 1 1 2 5
    2 1283 Delph Chris Pickles Matt Sharman 2 3 2 1 8
    3 1396 LLSC Richard Catchpole Gary Coop 3 2 3 3 11
    4 1401 West Riding SC Hamish Gledhill Steve Blackburn 5 4 4 4 17
    5 1401 Budworth SC Bill Kenyon Mark Lunn 4 5 5 6 20
    6 1191 LLSC Louise McKeand Matt Jenkins 6 7 7 5 25
    7 669 South Shields SC Jacob Ainsworth Kayleigh Roberts 7 6 6 7 26
    8 1282   Clive Harries Martin Ogley 8 8 8 9 33
    9 532 YDSC John Simms Adam Simms 10 13 10 8 41
    10 1133       9 10 9 10 38
    11 1131 YDSC Erica Caswell Ian Caswell 11 9 12 13 45
    12 1216 YDSC Simon Byrne Mike Hargraves 13 11 11 11 46
    13 868 YDSC Steve Rickwood David Crabbs 12 12 15 12 51
    14 1248 YDSC Wolfie Dyer Alan Rogers 15 14 13 14 56
    15 754 YDSC Rob Jones Graham Cooke 14 15 14 15 58


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