Goodison continues to show form
Initially in the first race, most of the fleet thought that they could cheat the tide by going inshore. However, half way up the beat it was clear that the extra wind and favourable shifts on the right hand side were paying.
It was Daniel Holman and Mark Howard who made the most of this to lead the fleet around the top mark. Holman and Howard both sailed to the pin end of the start line instead of the leeward mark to allow Andy Brooks, Paul Goodison, Mark Powell, Barney Chandler and Richard Williams through. It was once again Goodison making the most of the shifts to take the lead at the second windward mark which he never relinquished. Brooks sailed a great beat showing his youthful promise to hold off the charging Ed Wright to hold on to 2nd place.
The second race was started after a very short time to catch your breath, which caught some of the sailors out and meant that they were unable to complete all of their pre-start checks. The starboard end of the line paid this time and it was the left hand side of the beat that had more wind making it favoured. Due to the building tide and increasingly fickle winds, very close to the windward mark was a chance to make big gains.
Goodison led around the top mark from Mark Powell and younger brother Stephen. The second beat turned into a very light wind affair with big holes and random streaks of gusts. There was a big left hand shift that was used to the best of advantage by the younger Powell, Stephen. He held on to the lead to take his first ever bullet in a Qualifier from Wright and Goodison, and Mark Powell came in fourth.
The third race of the day started in less than 10 knots and port end bias. Again it paid to play the shifts and gusts up the middle, which Goodison did with ease to lead from start to finish. Wright showed why he is always on the heels of Goodison to pull away from the pack and take second from Tim Hulse and Mark Powell. The fleet was all in by 4 o’clock eager for some hot food after the cold day on the water which didn’t arrive until 6:30!
The forecast promised 20+ knots on Sunday and made many of the heavier sailors very disappointed when they turned up in the morning, as it was a millpond in the bay! This led for a postponement to be posted and lots of cups of tea to be consumed. The breeze filled in by 11:30 to at least 8 knots offshore. With the tide now slightly lee-bowing the fleet the black flag had to be used to full effect with a few sailors getting caught out and having to watch the race.
The starboard end of the line paid and so did the right hand side of the beat which Ben Todd used to full effect to lead around the windward mark from Peter Walker and Howard. There were frequent changes to the positions on the reaches and the second beat and it was Walker who sailed the shifts the best to lead around the windward mark for the second time from Goodison and Todd. Walker managed to hold on to take the bullet from Goodison and Todd.
The final race of the weekend needed the black flag to enable it to get underway.
Although many of the sailors that were OCS in the first start obviously hadn’t learnt their lesson and were disqualified again, along with many others! The breeze had strengthened by now to around 10-12 knots but was still very shifty and gusty. Goodison showed the fleet a clean pair of heels to lead from start to finish from the charging Wright and Mark Powell. This was the way that the overall standings finished, with first youth being Stephen Powell at sixth overall and the first master was Keith Wilkins at 16th overall.
1st Paul Goodison (Ulley) 5 points
2nd Ed Wright (Colwyn Bay) 9 points
3rd Mark Powell (Hayling Island) 15 points
4th Peter Walker (Forfar) 26 points
5th Tim Hulse (Ullswater) 38 points
The rankings on the ladder after this event decided which sailors in the silver and bronze fleets receive grants from the UKLA to fund trips abroad next summer. £250 was awarded to James Gray, Paul Hilliar and Barney Chandler in the silver fleet, while in the bronze fleet Simon McArthy got £100, Matthew Dry got £50 and John Evans got £25.
Well done to all of the sailors that received grants and we look forward to the start of the Qualifiers again next spring.