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South Cerney Flying Fifteen Open Meeting 2019
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South Cerney Flying Fifteen Open Meeting 2019

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The prospect of good sailing on SCSC's idyllic 120 acre lake drew a total of 10 Fifteens to compete this year in our Open. Traditionally the event was aimed mainly at older boats, but this year the entry included 4 modern boats and only 2 Classics, the remaining 4 being SCSC's Silvers.

South Cerney Sailing ClubWe were pleased to see 2 new visiting crews, Pip Hudson & Mick Musgrave in FF3889 from Broxbourne and Simon & Alistair Cooper in FF4041 from Bewl. Also welcome were 4 regular visitors, Bob Tait & Pete Comber in FF4051 from Broxbourne and Neil & Stuart Bartholomey from Middle Nene in their immaculate Classic FF2700. The home team comprised Derek & Tim in FF3359, Tony & Charlotte in FF3374, John & Barry in FF3268, Alex & Mike in FF3288, Richard & Mike in FF2626 and our newest members, Hanna & Trevor in FF3721.

Saturday was warm and sunny with a light wind veering from NW to N. The Race Officer, Dave Whittle, made full use of the main part of the lake, setting a course with 2 beats, close and broad reaches and a long spinnaker run. The target time per race would be 45 minutes.

Race 1 saw 3889 take the lead, followed by 3721 and 4051. A good 2nd lap by 4051 gained them 2nd place, with 3889 still ahead and 3721 in 3rd place. Behind them 3359, 2700 and 3268 competed for 4th place, with 2700 edging ahead. 

Race 2 started with 3889 storming ahead, building up a 2 minute lead which 4051 managed to reduce to 40 seconds in the last lap. 3721 and 3359 battled for 3rd place, with 3359 overtaking in the last lap. 

For the next 2 races the course was changed, the wind having veered further towards the NE, reduced in strength and become more variable and shifty. The new course comprised 2 beats and 2 broad reaches. Spinnaker flying became more tricky in the fluky wind and at least one boat found a frustrating few minutes of dead calm at buoy 5.

In Race 3 4051 took an early lead and gradually pulled away from 3889 in 2nd place. Behind them 2700 overtook 3721 to gain 3rd place, and 3359 finished close enough behind 3721 to take 4th place after PY adjustments. Similarly, the Classic 2626 was close enough to take 5th place with Gold 3721 slipping down to 6th. 

The start of Race 4 saw 4051 getting away again, this time with 4041 in 2nd place for the 1st lap.but dropping back in lap 2 when 2889 took over the position. In the same lap, 3359 had overtaken 2700 and 4041 to lie in 3rd place, with 3288 close behind. In the final lap 3359 was passed by 3288 who finished in 3rd place and 3359 in 4th.

Sunday morning began with the windsock hanging down limply and few ripples disturbing the placid surface of the lake. By 11 oclock the Race Officer had reluctantly cancelled any further racing for the event. Results were calculated from the 4 completed races, allowing one discard and using UKFFA PY numbers of 1015, 1026 and 1041 for Gold, Silver and Classic boats. 

First Classic trophy returned to Middle Nene with Neil & Stuart in 2700, always strong contenders. Consistently good sailing gained Derek & Tim in 3359 the First Silver trophy. Equally outstanding performances from the 2 Broxbourne crews, each with 2 x 1st and 2 x 2nd, meant Race 4 was the decider for Overall Winner. This was Bob & Pete in 4051, with Pip & Mick in 3889 taking second place. Third place went to Neil & Stuart. The SCSC Fleet trophy was awarded to Hanna & Trevor. 

A full table of results is viewable on the SCSC Results page.

Thanks were given to the Race Officer for good course setting in tricky wind conditions, and Sue for organizing and fetching an enjoyable Saturday evening meal from South Cerney's take-aways.

John.

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