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23/04/2022
Welton Open Welton Sailing Club

Report by Stuart Burnett

Windy Welton Takes Its Toll!

Just a short hop over the river Ouse from Beaver Sailing Club and shouldered up at the side of the Humber, Welton Sailing Club hosted our second Yorkshire P&B Northern Paddle Series event on Saturday 23rd April 2022.

As driving down the motorway, the tell tail signs were obviously there warning us of the expected winds, with flashing notifications of 40mph speed restrictions on the Humber Bridge and although not quite 40mph the gusts were certainly peeking up to a hold on to your hat 34mph as the wind increased for our seven brave Streaker bunch over the duration of the day.

Race one saw Welton's own Giles Therkelson-Smith take an early lead, followed by Tim Bell leading his fellow Beaver boys Nigel Robinson, Jon Aldhous, Bob Towler and Yorkshire Dale's Phil Priestley and holding on slightly off the pace young Oliver Gabbitas from York Sailing Club, with a menacing North East wind already punishing the boys only one beat into the race.

With Giles extending his lead onto the second leg Tim Bell's excellent start was brought to a sudden end by narrowly avoiding a collision with Jon and Nigel Robinson and thus bringing our first casualty of the day as over he went and by the time he'd clambered back into the boat his race was pretty much over, but carried on regardless.

Nigel Robinson's first race in which he had eased nicely into second place was suddenly brought to an abrupt end with an outhaul failure and was duly brought in by Welton's rescue volunteers.

Bob Towler was also caught by an overpowering gust which was not helped by his tangled mainsheet hindering his fight for survival as over he went dropping him to fourth place overall.

With all the calamity Phil Priestley found himself moving up the field and with his boat withstanding any failures and himself avoiding that dreaded capsize came home in a rewarding 3rd place, behind Jon Aldhous and with a nearly faultless race Giles picking up the first win of the day a good leg and a half off any threat.

A hot Bacon sarnie and nice cuppa did give our boys a bit of a welcomed boost, but with both energy and bravery levels already at a low and the wind whisking the waters up to a frenzy of white caps, Tim decided to give the forthcoming beating a miss, promptly followed by Oliver as the rest prepared themselves for another race of uncertainty with the wild winds actively seeking their next victims.

Giles again fronted the fleet rounding the first windward mark with Jon Aldhous staring down his rudder blade keen to lift onto a screaming plane and as Giles faulted and nearly found his boat on top of him, Jon sped off, only seconds later swimming with his Streaker well and truly embedded in the mud and almost an impossible task of righting it and sadly relying on a rescue as with Nigel, bringing his and the rest of the Beaver boys racing to an end.

With only Giles and Yorkshire Dales Phil Priestley left and neither one prepared to forfeit a potential first place, the race continued with Phil riding the storm a little easier and with Giles finding himself on the bad end of a severe wind shift and nearly falling foul of his first capsize, Phil pulled ahead with boat lengths to spare to take his first victory.

With everyone except for Phil taking a decision not to sail or swim the last race, Phil took it on himself to start and finish the race by himself and in doing so gave him the prestigious first place of the event.

Thanks to Pete and Rosie Fletcher for their impeccable handling of the three races accompanied by our rescue volunteers and not forgetting that most important life saving bacon buttie prepared by Lianne Therkelson and her team of helpers.

 

Helm

boat

club

R1

R2

R3

Nett pts

1

Phil Priestley

1922

Yorkshire Dales

(3)

1

1

2

2

Giles

Therkelson-Smith

1974

Welton

1

2

(DNS 8)

3

3

Jon Aldhous

1703

Beaver

2

(DNF 8)

DNS 8

10

4

Bob Towler

2105

Beaver

4

(DNS 8)

DNS 8

12

5

Tim Bell

1018

Beaver

5

(DNS 8)

DNS 8

13

6

Nigel Robinson

1652

Beaver

(DNF 8)

DNF 8

DNS 8

16

7

Oliver Gabbitas

1515

York

(DNF 8)

DNS 8

DNS 8

16

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