Graduate Dinghy Association

 

Chipstead Sailing Club

Graduate Open Meeting

9th May 2021

 

 

The timely relaxation of the COVID rules meant that Chipstead SC were able to run the 2021 Graduate open meeting on 9th May. In common with previous years it was a shared event with the Herons. 

The Grads fleet of 13 entrants was greeted with a gusty South South Westerly, which can be a tricky direction at Chipstead as the wind swirls around the trees on the South shore. The OOD, Richard Ball, and his team from the Solo fleet laid a start line just at the Western end of the “Narrows” using a temporary flag pole to comply with COVID regulations. The line was quite biased and so a port tack start was available for those brave enough to try it.

 



Race 1

The fleet was well behaved and got off to a clean start. The teams were conservative and none opted for a port flyer. Ric Lewis & John Higham had a strong start at the Southern end of the line, tacking onto port at the gun to make full use of the line bias. Predictably, John Clementson & Mel Titmus were hot on their heels with the bulk of the fleet being more to the North end of the line and losing out despite also opting to tack immediately.

With the gusty conditions to their liking John & Mel soon pulled clear of the fleet with Ric and John doing well too. The fleet enjoyed some good planing across the Eastern end of the lake with all crews being tested by the gust when beating back up to the club house to complete lap one.

The second run was a much quieter affair and the chasing pack overhauled Ric & John who waited for them in a large hole in the Narrows. Bob & Maggie Murrell closely followed by Andrew Hubble & Sandra Jordan made the most of the next beat with Ric & John managing to recover from their drift on the previous run. 

John & Mel finished with a commanding lead and it was left to Bob & Maggie, Andrew & Sandra and Ric & John to fight it out for second place. Bob & Maggie just held on to benefit from a timely lift to scrape in the line side of the outer distance mark to claim second, Ric & John watching their good fortune from a very close third place.

 

The fleet retired to the outside seating area for a well earned lunch.

 

Race 2

The race team kept the same start line and course for the second race, starting as soon as possible in the afternoon to allow visitors to leave at a reasonable hour.

John & Mel repeated their dominant performance from the first race leading from the gun to the end. Roger Cherrill & Sarah-Jane Critchley showed early form with the three teams of Andrew & Sandra, Bob & Maggie and Ric & John all in contention. Gareth & Polly Colesmith were well placed going into the early part of the race. James Webber & Helen Recardo were also showing good speed as the race progressed and mixing tacks with the chasing group before overtaking Roger & Sarah-Jane. Bob & Maggie did enough to claim their second runner-up place of the day. With an excitingly close finish any of three teams could take third place right up until the last few yards. Ric & John hung in there to secure third with James & Helen squeezing in to fourth just ahead of Andrew & Sandra.

 

 

Race 3

With two wins, John & Mel had the meeting secured but there was all to play for in the minor placings with any of the top portion of the fleet able to take second.

John & Mel continued their dominance and led the fleet home showing their skill in the changeable conditions. Roger & Sarah-Jane kept them on their toes and these two teams pulled away from the pack. Edward & Max Poet and Gareth & Polly were in contention after good starts and six boats ran to the Eastern end of the lake in close order. James & Helen positioned themselves to gain inside line at the gybe mark closed hounded by Ric & John and Andrew & Sandra. Bob & Maggie and Andrew & Sandra found a shorter next beat and pulled clear of Ric & John and these positions held until the finish.

 

 

Tea and cakes accompanied the prizegiving to round off a great days racing.




Final Results

 

 

Crew

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Points

Final Place

G2979

John Clementson & Melanie Titmus

1

1

1

2

1

G3020

Bob & Maggie Murrell

2

2

3

4

2

G3008

Ric Lewis & John Higham

3

3

5

6

3

G2962

Roger Cherrill & Sarah-Jane Critchley

5

6

2

7

4

G3000

Andrew Hubble & Sandra Jordan

4

5

4

8

5

G3015

James Webber & Helen Recardo

6

4

6

10

6

G2910

Edward & Max Poet 

7

7

8

14

7

G3021

Gareth & Polly Colesmith

DNS

8

7

15

8

G2938

Meg Warren & Jane Marshall

8

12

10

18

9

G2969

Seb Naughton & Peter Davies

10

11

9

19

10

G2964

Simon Dorricott & Rowena Harrison

9

10

DNS

19

11

G2931

Charlie Dutton & Meg Crawley

RTD

9

DNS

22

12

G2889

Hank & Paula Peacock

11

DNS

DNS

24

13




 

2019 Bolton Open Meeting Results:

 

Pos Sail No Helm Name Crew Name Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1st 3001 Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft Bolton Sailing Club 1 3 1 2
2nd 2839 Chris Parker Chloe Parker Southport Sailing Club 2 1 2 3
3rd 2955 Adam Froggatt Richard Freeman Chase Sailing Club 3 2 DNF 5
4th 2878 David Ivins Alexis Johnson Bolton Sailing Club 4 4 3 7
5th 2879 Peter Jacques Michelle Evans Chase Sailing Club 6 6 4 10
6th 2929 David Wilson Liz Wilson Bolton Sailing Club 5 5 5 10

After several days of strong winds Sunday 8th September 2019 brought brilliant sunshine and a gentle force 2 to Swarkestone Sailing Club in Derbyshire for the return of the club's Graduate Open after a hiatus of seven years. Also returning to Swarkestone was the "Derwent Challenge Trophy" which has been in the care of David and Sandra Wilson who, in Graduate 2974, won the event in three out of the last four outings.

What David and Sandra knew from previous opens, and many of the rest of us were about to learn for the first time, was that the beauty and calm of Swarkestone is very deceptive and the gentle wind we found on arrival would prove to be what can only be described as at best as skittish, but more honestly as devilish, as it shifted direction and strength on a whim!

And so, it was that eight Graduates gathered to race, crewed by husbands and wives and twins and triplets.

Eight boats took to the line for the first race and local lads Patrick and Jonathan Hill choose the starboard end of the line getting the best start and showing great speed. At the windward mark Adam & Jack Froggatt managed to round first, closely by Patrick and Jonathan with Richard and Jane Thorpe in third and John and Josh Froggatt in fourth. Adam and Jack managed to pull ahead and hold their lead to the finish whilst the rest of the fleet had a great battle chasing the best wind with Richard and Jane winning through to take second, Dave and Sandra taking third and the juniors not far behind.

 
Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone © Carolyn Hand

After an excellent lunch the fleet regrouped for Race 2 with the majority of the fleet choosing this time to start at the starboard end leaving Hannah Whitham and Henry White near the pin. Hannah's decision paid off in the skittish Swarkestone wind allowing her to take an early lead. On the left-hand side of the course Adam, now sailing with Josh, also managed to find some wind and crossed the fleet to round the windward mark first, closely followed by Richard and Jane and Dave and Sandra.

Then on the second reach Richard and Jane deftly took the lead which, despite some hard chasing from Adam and Josh, they held to the finish. Dave and Sandra again took third place whilst the sparing pairs of Patrick and Jonathan versus Hannah and Henry, and Simon and Moses Forward versus Ami Hopkins raced for the finish with John and Jack Froggatt, until John realised that Jack was no longer in the boat!

Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone - photo © Stephen Wiggly
Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone - photo © Stephen Wiggly

 Going into Race 3 both Richard and Jane and Adam and Jack/Josh had a first and second taking it to a final race decider. However, there was a minor disaster for Adam - both boys having mutinied in favour of the club's swings - but his day was rescued by Carolyn Hand from Swarkestone Sailing Club who kindly agreed to crew the final race. At this stage of the afternoon the wind was dropping, but there was just enough to race.

This time most of the fleet opted for the starboard end with Adam and Cass narrowly winning the start, with Richard and Jane and Dave and Sandra chasing - this was going to be an exciting race. On the run Richard and Jane showed great boat speed, sailing under Adam and Caz to take the lead, which they then held right to the last mark where Adam and Caz managed to tack above them on the beat to the line and take the win by one second with Dave and Sandra in third place, enjoying the best seats in the house as the drama unfolded.

All in all, it was a fantastic day's sailing and it was clear that everyone enjoyed the challenges of Swarkestone's wind and the other Graduates on the water. The welcome we received from the club was exceptional and everyone really appreciated the time and effort that had clearly been invested in the event and the pleasure expressed by members at seeing a Graduate fleet racing for the Challenge Trophy again. It was fantastic to see our younger graduate sailors doing so well with Patrick and Jonathan winning the Juniors and Hannah winning the Ladies prizes.

Finally can we express our sincere thanks to Joanne Hill for time and effort she put into making this event happen and for the lovely soup and cakes devoured by everyone. Thanks also must be extended to the OOD - Tim Hand, Rescue - Patrick Bowles (and son), David Hill and David Moore, plus Commodore.

Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone - photo © Carolyn Hand
Graduate open meeting at Swarkstone - photo © Carolyn Hand

 

Three home boats and three visitors competed at the Bolton Sailing Club Graduate Open on 25th August. The standard of racing was very high, resulting in hard won finishing positions at all positions in the fleet.

Competitors were greeted by blue skies, warm sunshine and a nice gently building southerly breeze.

Jeff Robinson, the principal race officer for the day decided upon a committee boat start for all 3 races, thus maximising the length of the first beat.

In the first race, the Flitcrofts and Parkers got off to a great start, quickly getting ahead of the rest of the fleet. The Flitcrofts had the smallest of leads at the first mark which grew and contracted periodically throughout the race with never more than 4 boat lengths between them. With slightly superior downwind speed the Parkers got into the lead at one point on the run but the Flitcrofts managed to get an overlap at the leeward mark, regain the lead and hold onto it for the rest of the race to finish first with the Parkers second. Further back in the fleet Adam Froggatt and Richard Freeman pulled away from the rest of the fleet and were chipping away at the lead boats to finish third.

After a change of course the whole fleet got a good start in the second race. On the first leg, the Flitcrofts and Parkers stayed on starboard for too long, leaving Adam and Richard to round the windward mark with a good lead,... a position which they held on to for almost all of the race. Close behind the Flitcrofts were David Ivins and Alexis Johnson. By the last mark, the Parkers had reeled-in Adam and Richard, almost touching as they gybed. On the last leg to the finish the Parkers made better use of the shifts, beating Adam and Richard to the line with the Flitcrofts a boatlength behind in third.

With everything to play for, there was another change of course for the last race, this time fully utilising the whole length of the water. The Flitcrofts got squeezed out at the start which Adam and Richard absolutely nailed. At the windmark mark they rounded first with the Flitcrofts just inches away after recovering on the beat. On the long run north there was plenty covering going on. The Flitcrofts managed to edge ahead of Adam and Richard, who in hot pursuit scooped too much water on a gybe. With such a high calibre of racing and everyone so close they elected to retire. The Flitcrofts were able to maintain their lead to finish first, with the Parkers second and David and Alexis third. Pete Jacques and Michelle Evans had their best race of the day with a fourth in what was only their second time out in a very nice looking boat.

After a testing day of close competition, the Bolton Graduate Challenge Trophy was presented to the overall winners Andy and Sue Flitcroft. In 2nd place were Chris and Chloe Parker, 3rd Adam Froggatt and Richard Freeman, 4th David Ivins and Alexis Johnson, 5th on countback were Peter Jacques and Michelle Evans and 6th Dave and Liz Wilson. Our appreciation was shown to all the visitors who participated in this open event and to Jeff Robinson and his OD crew who were kindly supported throughout the day by Geoff Benson who also presented the prizes.

Overall Results:

 

Pos Sail No Helm Name Crew Name Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1st 3001 Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft Bolton Sailing Club 1 3 1 2
2nd 2839 Chris Parker Chloe Parker Southport Sailing Club 2 1 2 3
3rd 2955 Adam Froggatt Richard Freeman Chase Sailing Club 3 2 DNF 5
4th 2878 David Ivins Alexis Johnson Bolton Sailing Club 4 4 3 7
5th 2879 Peter Jacques Michelle Evans Chase Sailing Club 6 6 4 10
6th 2929 David Wilson Liz Wilson Bolton Sailing Club 5 5 5 10

2019 Graduate Northern Championships Results:

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 3001 Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft Bolton 1 1 4 3 5
2 3020 Bob Murrell Maggie Murrell Chipstead 2 4 1 2 5
3 2839 Chris Parker Chloe Parker Southport DNC 6 2 1 9
4 2880 Greg Thomas Abby Hodge Southport 6 2 3 4 9
5 2878 David Ivins Lesley / Alexis Johnson Bolton 4 5 5 5 14
6 3013 Richard Thorpe Jane Thorpe Toddbrook 3 8 7 6 16
7 3007 Paul Clark Emily Clark Bassentwaite 7 3 6 7 16
8 2978 Roger Dooley Alison Dooley Ripon 5 7 8 9 20
9 2531 Patrick Hill Jonathan HIll Swarkestone 9 9 9 8 26
10 1718 Simon Forward Moses Forward Toddbrook 8 DNC 10 DNC 29