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14/02/2016
Freddy Bear Open Staunton Harold Sailing Club

The forecast of an icy northerly wind clearly put off some competitors because, despite counting towards both the Northern and Southern Paddle series, the Staunton Harold open meeting only attracted 5 Streakers. However, the racing was really good and as the event was part of the final day of the Staunton Blaster series, there were plenty of other boats on the water and a great atmosphere at the club. The Streakers started 3 minutes ahead of the Blaster fleet, composed of a real mixture of boats from Fireballs to Optimists, and we did really well to stay ahead of all but the fastest Fireballs and a couple of other boats. There was bright sunshine and a wind that was rather stronger than some of us had expected as we rigged up! In the first race Veronica Falat led for most of the first lap but from then on James Wilson took control. Paul Jago and Chris Abela had a very tight race for 3rd, with Paul just ahead at the finish. Barny Creaser wasn't far behind in 5th. After a pleasant lunch break sitting in the sun out of the chilly wind, we had our 2nd race. Paul, James and Veronica reached the windward mark together. James gybed and Paul followed suit, not realising James was doing a penalty turn for hitting the mark; Paul thought James (the man with the local knowledge) had gybed to set off across the reservoir so he gybed too and shot off in the wrong direction! This greatly amused Veronica who now had the lead. There followed some downwind legs with gybe marks and everything depended on who got water at each mark. The racing stayed really tight until the last lap when Veronica just managed to pull clear and finished 1st with James 2nd and Paul and Chris close behind. So Veronica and James tied on points but Veronica was the overall winner by virtue of having done best in the last race and was awarded with Freddy Bear as companion for the year.

1. Veronica Falat (Waveney & Oulton Broad YC) 3 pts

2. James Wilson (Staunton Harold SC) 3 pts

3. Paul Jago 6 pts

4. Chris Abela (West Oxfordshire SC) 8 pts

5. Barny Creaser (Hollowell SC) 10 pts

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