Over the Blue Moon

Graham Viles and Adam Bowers win Osprey Open at Netley

Wednesday October 2nd 2002, Author: Nick Willis, Location: United Kingdom
Near perfect sailing conditions with a sunny SE F2-3 over Southampton water greeted the 17 competitors participating in the Netley Open.

Race 1 got underway and Graham Viles crewed by Adam Bowers in 1198 (Blue Moon) hit the pin end of the line on the gun and headed for the shore followed by Andy Barker and Phil Angrave in 1298 (Barking Mad) and most of the rest of the fleet. 1296, Martin Cooney and John Price in White Star headed over to the right side of the course but realised that it was not going to pat so cut back left in time to hold 3rd place round the 1st mark behind Blue Moon and Barking Mad.

Blue Moon gradually opened out a comfortable lead with White Star pushing Barking Mad hard until the last lap when White Star picked the shifts better to squeeze ahead and hold on to 2nd to the finish with Barking Mad 3rd. Race 2 and White Star got clear at the start and followed the slight shifts well up the first lead to round the 1st mark clear of Blue Moon and 1199 Will and George Odling in Merlyn.

Positions at the front held for the 1st lap until George Odling obviously under pressure from Barking Mad showed his animal strength and pulled a bit too hard on the Jib sheet separating the mounting from the deck - Ooopps! Barking Mad now closed on Blue Moon and managed to get an inside overlap at the gybe mark and make the position stick to take 2nd with Blue moon 3rd.

That evening was spent in the traditional Netley style discussing the races so there was no beer left for Sunday Lunch. In the meantime the Odlings headed off home to get their spare boat and Karl Gorner tried to poor enough beer down his crew Graham Mants throat to cure his damaged back but to no avail.

Sunday and the wind was still steady from the SE but now F3 with a touch of 4. Blue Moon was quickly into her stride and rounded the 1st mark comfortably ahead of White Star and 1194 Lettice sailed by Stuart Maunder and Steve Birch. These two were gradually hunted down by Barking Mad who moved up to 2nd leaving White Star to take 3rd.

The final race and Blue Moon was pushed over the start but unseen by the race officer so took advantage and headed for the favoured left side to lead from start to finish. White Star was again well up and held 2nd ahead of Barking Mad round the 1st mark and for the rest of the race with Barking Mad 3rd.

A well-earned win for Graham Viles and Adam Bowers with a convincing display of speed ahead of Martin Cooney and John Price who humbled the National Champions Andy Barker and Phil Angrave into 3rd place.


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