Whitwell - UKWA Inland 5

4 November 2008


With a fantastic turn out of 9 Juniors, 16 Raceboards, 20 Formula, 23 Technos and 13 RS:X, you could tell that the weekend was going to be a good event and with the wind forecast on the Saturday a challenging one as well. A good onshore breeze blowing on Saturday morning proved tricky for competitors. Despite this fact, everyone was out there giving it a good go.

The first start for the Techno's was slightly unusual as there were less than a third of the fleet actually on the start line. This was because of a slight mix-up with committee boats: There was a committee boat for the windsurfers very far downwind and a committee boat for some club racing which was going on for the sailors higher upwind. The majority of the fleet who weren't on the line were upwind ready to start a race with the sailors. Sam Sills was one of these people but pulled out all the stops to come 1st overall even after a shocking 7 minute delay to his start. There was then a close battle for 2nd place but Chloe Bennett wouldn't stand for a 4th place and over took two other people on the last leg of the race. There was also another battle going on for 1st 6.8 girl between Laurel Townsend and Saskia Sills, who was also late for the start (later than her brother, Sam). Despite her lateness, Saskia still managed to come 1st 6.8 girl.

The start of race two had a much better turn out as people had learnt from their mistakes on the first race. At this point the wind had picked up even more to a consistent 17knott breeze with gusts going up to more than 20knottts. Sam Sills continued his winning streak coming 1st again closely followed by Matthew Brown. The main competition in this race was between Kieran Martin and Joe Bennett for 3rd overall and 1st 6.8. Eventually it ended in Kieran just beating Joe on the last lap. However this race proved challenging and only 8 people managed to complete it. But some of the people that didn't start the race were on the bank helping young Luke Raistrick who had slight accident and got rushed off to hospital not long afterwards. Fortunately, Luke was okay and came back later that day.
Many more young people were seen out this time for the start of race 3, as they had chance to change down at lunch time. The end of this race saw Sam Sills come in 1st and Matthew Brown in 2nd again with Chloe Bennett in 3rd place. This race saw a change in positioning in the 6.8 fleet with Joe Bennett staying ahead of Kieran Martin to come in as 4th Techno and 1st 6.8.

Then the last race of the day saw a drop in wind speed to between 12 and 15knottts and sometimes even less. Once again Sam Sills came 1st, shortly followed by Matthew Brown who came 2nd and then new national squad member Josh Leadbetter. Those who had changed down before were disadvantaged in this race, but despite the facts, we still saw them battling out for good places with Jade Rogers (also a new national squad member) finishing that race in 7th place. That was the end to the 1st day of racing, with 4 races and 1 discard.


The second day started to a completely different scene: a light shower of rain with a slight breeze blowing cross/onshore. This provided easier conditions for both the competitors and the boat crew. All fleets were sent out except the formula as there wasn't enough wind to get them around the course. The 1st race started with all the Techno feet on starboard. The racing was even more competitive than the day before because everyone had to be more alert and be aware of the shifts, gusts and bends in the wind, to help move up places. This race brought a battle and a change of positioning for the 6.8 girls with Laurel Townsend just beating Imogen Sills to get the 1st girl place in the 6.8 fleet. We could also see that Luke Raistrick had fully recovered from his accident as he managed to come 4th 6.8.

Race 2 saw the majority of the fleet going off on port, getting a head start. Sam Sills came first once again and was currently on the minimum amount of points possible. In the 6.8 fleet Kieran Martin came first closely followed by Adam Purcell who also got in the national squad this year. Laurel Townsend claimed 1st 6.8 girl in this race with Chloe Bennett as 1st 7.8 girl. All the fleets then came in for lunch but then the formula fleet was then sent out as the wind had picked up slightly just enough for most of them to get going.

After lunch, the racing continued with slightly more wind than in the morning. These made the perfect conditions for the lighter sailors as they could get planning much easier. Imogen Sills just managed to get 1st 6.8 girl in this race beating her sister Saskia. Kieran Martin came in 1st 6.8 just beating Joe Bennett who was closely followed by Adam Purcell.

Then everyone had to go in to the shore ready for another briefing which was basically a long distance race: Sail upwind to the tower, and then back downwind round another tower, then cross the finish line which was a person standing on the shore and a black buoy. This was a test of endurance. The techno's started first. Sam Sills was over the line and ended up having to go around the pin end. This left Matthew Brown leading the way around the course the majority of the way, but Sam caught up and just managed to complete the course in 1st place followed by Matt in 2nd and Josh Leadbetter in 3rd. In the 6.8 fleet Kieran Martin ended up with an OCS. This left Adam Purcell and Joe Bennett battling it out for 1st 6.8. Adam just managed to beat Joe to claim 1st place. In the girls fleets Imogen Sills came 1st techno girl (6.8 and 7.8) and 7th overall, followed by Chloe Bennett then Saskia Sills.

Overall, the weekend brought a range wind giving everyone a chance to shine. Sam Sills came out 1st on minimum points, followed Matthew Brown in 2nd place and Josh Leadbetter as 3rd 7.8. In the 6.8 fleet Kieran Martin came 1st, then Joe Bennett in 2nd and Adam Purcell in 3rd. 1st 7.8 girl went to Chloe Bennett and 1st 6.8 girl went to Imogen Sills. It was very close between the 6.8 girls with Imogen and Saskia Sills both joint on points but Imogen had the better discard giving her the place as 1st. Although Laurel Townsend also only just missed out on 1st as she was only 1 point behind the two sisters.