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Gill Streaker Inland Championships Grafham Water Sailing Club

Report by Neil Firth

The Gill Streaker Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club went down to the wire, with three boats on equal points going into the final race.  Each of them had a win in the prevailing conditions of the final day, so which one would be crowned Streaker Inland Champion?
But before all that, Saturday saw a very light and patchy breeze, providing a mix of frustration and relief throughout the fleet.  Heading the frustrated camp were Duncan McDonald (Newhaven & Seaford) and Jasper Barnham (Snettisham Beach) who looked to have a comfortable margin after the first beat.  However, the fickle breeze had other ideas downwind, to the relief of Giles Therkelson-Smith (Welton), Nigel Pepperdine (Staunton Harold) and Eden Hyland (Chase).  They were carried up to and past the early leaders, then dodged the worst of the holes (and the D-Zeros!) for a tense couple of laps, to finish in that order.
There was relief all round when the Race Officer, Peter Curtis, decided that enough was enough for day one.  There was a favourable forecast for Sunday so competitors could look forward to the realistic prospect of four championship-quality races.
Sunday didn't disappoint.  A reliable 8-12 knots was enough to reward consistent sailing, whilst still providing some variation in pressure and direction to keep the racing tight and competitive.
First race of the day was an opportunity for Giles to show that his win on Saturday was no fluke!  One lap in, he appeared to have the measure of Jasper and Eden who were both chasing hard but to no avail, as Giles took the win ahead of Jasper.   Duncan was also in the mix, pulling up to third ahead of Eden on the final lap, only to learn that he had been OCS.
Race 3 (second of the day) was Jasper's turn to show his form.  He and Neil Firth (Banbury) found the fast lane up the first beat to hold a decent margin over the chasing pack.  Jasper and Neil looked to be holding their lead as the chasers battled amongst themselves, but it was Eden who broke free from the pack to give chase.  Jasper held on to win, with Eden reeling in Neil on the final lap to take second.
Eden is new to the Streaker and was sailing the first Hartley Boats built Streaker at his first Open Meeting in the Class.  If he is still figuring out his 'fast mode', it certainly didn't show in race 4, which he led from start to finish.  Jasper took second, just holding off Giles on the finish line.
So the scene was set for a real "medal race" to decide the championship!  Giles, Jasper and Eden were on equal points and all had a race win to their name in Sunday's championship conditions.  The winner of race 5 would be Inland Champion!  That said, Richard Brameld (Welton) had not read the script... he established a tidy lead after a blistering first beat, although he was then caught going downwind!  Nevertheless, he held onto fourth, while the championship contenders were fighting it out ahead of him.  In a race worthy of being a championship decider, Giles gained a narrow advantage over the other two which he held for most of the race, only to be literally pipped at the post by Eden at the finish pin.
And so a new Streaker Inland Champion was crowned, with Eden Hyland beating Giles Therkelson-Smith by the narrowest of margins, both on the water and on points (3-2-1-1 vs 1-1-3-2).  Jasper Barnham was third - only one point adrift - and Colin Staite (Bartley) took the Silver Fleet trophy with sixth overall.
Thanks go to Peter Curtis and all the Grafham volunteers for a successful and enjoyable championship, generously sponsored by Gill Marine.
Photos copyright Paul Sanwell/OPP  

Streaker Class

Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 13, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Class Sail_number Helms_Name Sailing_Club Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st Streaker 2146 Eden Hyland Hartley Boats   (3.0) 3.0 2.0 1.0 1.0 10.0 7.0
2nd Streaker 1974 Giles Therkelson-Smith Welton SC   1.0 1.0 (4.0) 3.0 2.0 11.0 7.0
3rd Streaker 2127 Jasper Barnham Snettisham Beach SC   (4.0) 2.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 12.0 8.0
4th Streaker 2136 Nigel Pepperdine Staunton Harold SC   2.0 4.0 (6.0) 5.0 5.0 22.0 16.0
5th Streaker 1977 Neil Firth Banbury SC   6.0 6.0 3.0 4.0 (7.0) 26.0 19.0
6th Streaker 1769 Colin Staite Bartley   7.0 5.0 (10.0) 7.0 6.0 35.0 25.0
7th Streaker 2124 Michael Alexander Rutland SC   (9.0) 7.0 5.0 6.0 8.0 35.0 26.0
8th Streaker 1569 Richard Brameld Welton   8.0 (10.0) 9.0 8.0 4.0 39.0 29.0
9th Streaker 2132 Chris Smith Island Barn Reservoir SC   (10.0) 9.0 7.0 9.0 9.0 44.0 34.0
10th Streaker 1864 Dave Borrett Beaver SC   (12.0) 8.0 8.0 11.0 10.0 49.0 37.0
11th Streaker 1943 Chris Foster RBSC   11.0 11.0 (14.0 DNC) 10.0 11.0 57.0 43.0
12th Streaker 2102 Duncan Mcdonald NSSC   5.0 (14.0 OCS) 14.0 DNC 14.0 DNC 14.0 DNC 61.0 47.0
13th Streaker 1549 Chris Kelly Snettisham Beach SC   (13.0) 12.0 11.0 12.0 12.0 60.0 47.0


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