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Inland Championships Northampton Sailing Club

This year’s Streaker Inland Championship was sailed over two days of excellent sailing weather at Northampton S.C. on the weekend of 26th-27th May. OK, it was grey and drizzling when we rigged up on Saturday and there was a huge thunderstorm and downpour in the early hours of Sunday morning (very exciting for those of us camping!) but when we were sailing it was warm, bright and breezy. This was a shared event with the Phantom Inlands and the Phantoms started 5 minutes ahead of us each race which was handy as the breeze was shifty and it was interesting to see how they went up the first beat of the trapezoid course. Of course, several times the breeze had flicked back by the time we started! 

Ian Jones arrived as favourite for the event having won the trophy each year since 2014 and he made no mistakes in Race 1, leading from the first mark. Isaac Marsh, last year’s runner-up, was in hot pursuit. Veronica Falat was in 3rd place early on but was soon overtaken by Phil Manning and Doug Horner and they finished in that order.

Race 2 saw James Dawes pull off an excellent port tack start and he led up the first beat. Ian eventually overhauled him, as did Phil Manning. Meanwhile behind him Veronica and Isaac were having a good battle and by the finish Veronica had sneaked into 3rd place but James held off Isaac to take 4th.

After lunch Race 3 was sailed in a fresher breeze but it was still shifty. Ian was dominant in this race, with Isaac, Phil and Doug taking the next 3 places. So, at the close of play on Saturday Ian was looking good with 3 race wins while Isaac and Phil were tying with 9 points and Veronica and Doug both had 13.

By Sunday the breeze had veered more to the east but the shifts were as important as ever. Race 4 saw a terrific tussle between Isaac and Ian. They pulled far enough ahead of the fleet to make a good scrap of it, trying to pin each other to one side of the course or the other, while Phil was trying to close them down. Veronica was in 4th but Doug caught a good planning gust on the approach to the final mark, tacked quickly and looked to have overtaken her but Veronica managed to cross the line just inches ahead of him. 

With the Championship already won, Ian could relax in Race 5 and for once he did not get away cleanly at the start. Instead Phil was the leader and took the gun with Isaac 2nd and Ian 3rd.

This was the 2nd event in this year’s Streaker Super Series sponsored by Rooster Sailing and so there were prizes too for the ‘Silver Fleet’ sailors. The Silver Fleet trophy was won by newcomer Neil Firth from Banbury SC, who, despite capsizing a couple of times, put together a good series to finish 9th overall. 2nd and 3rd in the Silver Fleet were Mark Langston and Lucy Priest respectively.

Ian Jones retained the Championship Trophy, with Isaac again runner-up, this time just 1 point ahead of Phil.

It was disappointing that the entry was low with only 16 boats but they represented 14 different clubs from as far afield as Lancashire and North Yorkshire in the north to Sussex in the south. It worked well joining forces with the Phantoms and Northampton SC must be congratulated on running an excellent event for both classes.

Report by Veronica Falat

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