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2015 open meetings drawing to a close

Here we are in October and the 2015 travellers series are coming to their conclusions.

This Saturday (Oct 10th) the Chipstead open will be the final event in both the P&B Southern Paddle and the South East Area Series. At the same time there’s the penultimate Sail Register Northern Paddle open at Yeadon and then a week later (Oct 17) it’s the NP finale at West Riding, which is also the Northern Championship.

So how’s it all looking?

In each Paddle series you need 12 race results to qualify. Originally it had been 14 results for the Northern Paddle but as two opens (Rotherham and Girton) have been cancelled, the number of races to qualify has been reduced. At the moment Ian Bradley is leading both the Southern and Northern Paddle series. In the Southern he’s counting an impressive score of 11 firsts and 1 second and can’t be beaten. Veronica Falat has 7 firsts and 5 seconds and so with just 3 more races to go won’t be able to catch him.

However, things are not so certain in the Northern Paddle. Ian has a 2 point lead over Steve Blackburn; Ian has 6 race wins while Steve has 5, so with six more races possible, it’s looking set for a close finish. There are also several other people who will come into the frame if they do well at Yeadon and/or West Riding, most notably Ian Priest who also already has 5 race wins and just needs 3 more races to qualify. The strength of the class in the north of England is quite noticeable when one compares the two Paddle series.

So far the numbers of individuals competing in the Southern series is 40 whereas it’s 72 for the Northern and far more people will qualify for the final prizes in the Northern.

One of the problems in the south is geography! Southern England is just so wide! It can mean doing a lot of travelling, especially if you’re based in the east or the west. To help this, we have experimented with a South East Area Series which covers Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Chipstead next Saturday will count as the 6th and final event in it and to qualify you need just 6 race results. At the moment 25 people have already sailed 3 races and so stand a chance of qualifying by competing at Chipstead. Many thanks to Gil Cumming for setting this series up and getting things moving. Perhaps we can have one or two other small regional series in future years.

Don’t forget that by competing in the Paddle Series races you stand a chance of winning a brand new sail – if you’re a paid up member of the class association! The more races you sail, the better your chances of winning. So at Chipstead we’ll run a draw to find out who will win a Pinnell & Bax sail and likewise at West Riding there’ll be a draw for a Sail Register sail. With West Riding also being the Northern Area championship, it looks like it will be a good final event. Even Southerners will be welcome!


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