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Tamworth Open Tamworth Sailing Club

Report by Matt Whitfield

7 Streaker sailors (3 home & 4 visitors) arrived at TSC on a cool, sunny day with many seemingly put off by the light winds and the nature of the host venue to be notoriously tricky in such weather.

Race one got underway at just after 11am. David Turtle (1926) took the hole shot, rounding the windward mark first ahead of Steve Blackburn (1881) and Veronica Falat (1829), the lead three already having opened a gap to the three local boats of Ian Whitfield (1900), Matt Whitfield (1901) and Ben Freeman (1908) who were battling closely. Coming round the third mark, M Whitfield spotted a small breeze in the smaller gap between the islands to take 4th from I Whitfield and a further lift helped him pull away from the other locals and close the gap to Falat and Blackburn ahead. A couple a lap later M Whitfield took advantage of Falat and Blackburn working their way through the slower half of the Laser fleet to close this gap further, finding himself in third after Falat had the misfortune to end up on the outside of the entire Laser fleet around the windward mark. Meanwhile Blackburn had managed to close up on the runaway Turtle to try and challenge for the lead. This never quite happened and Turtle led the fleet home followed by Blackburn in second. Seemly set for third, M Whitfield found himself becalmed on the final leg whilst Falat seemed to find her own personal supply of breeze to overtake and claim the final podium spot, with M Whitfield having to settle for fourth with I Whitfield fifth, Freeman sixth and Billingsley seventh.

After lunch, race two was held in much the same conditions. This time however the battle for the win was much closer, again between Turtle and Blackburn. Once again Turtle held his nerve to take the win and the meeting, with Blackburn second. Behind them there was an intense three way battle for third between the Whitfield’s and Falat, with M Whitfield coming on to the final leg again in third only to have his progress hampered by the back end of the Laser fleet, with I Whitfield and Falat in clearer air able to find their way through. I Whitfield took third, Falat Fourth and M Whitfield fifth with Freeman and Billingsley taking sixth and seventh again.

The final race was sailed on a different course in ever decreasing wind. Steve Blackburn took a commanding lead at the start and was never challenged, adding a bullet to his two second places. Falat was just as comfortable in second place, securing third overall for her efforts. Turtle decided to retire part way through, with the meeting already won leaving the Whitfield’s to fight it out for family pride. Despite M Whitfield mounting a strong challenge, age won over beauty and I Whitfield took third and M Whitfield fourth.

With plenty of prizes to go around, everyone who remained for the prize giving took something home. David Turtle took home both a bottle of red and a bottle of white for taking first overall in the meeting, with Steve Blackburn in second and Veronica Falat in third also claiming a bottle of Tesco’s finest for their efforts. Ian Whitfield got a bottle of plonk and a rather fetching Streaker class hat as the association prize for being the first boat outside the top three with Matt Whitfield taking the final bottle for himself.

Thanks go to Tamworth Sailing Club for hosting and putting on racing in tricky conditions.

The next event for Streaker Sailors is the P&B Southern Paddle meeting at Bough Beech Sailing club on the 2nd of April.

1.  1826  David Turtle          Shotwick Lake         1        1        (6 DNF)     2pts

2.  1881  Steve Blackburn  West Lancs YC     (2)        2         1                 3 pts

3.  1829  Veronica Falat     Waveney & OBYC   3        (4)       2                 5 pts

4.  1900  Ian Whitfield       Tamworth                 (5)        3         3                 6 pts

5.  1901  Matthew Whitfield   Tamworth             4        (5)       4                 8 pts

6.  1908  Ben Freeman     Tamworth                  6         6        (8 DNS)     12 pts

7.  1890  Nick Billingsley  Waveney & OBYC     7   (8 DNF)  8 DNS        15 pts

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