Lightning Watts

Joan Young reports on the Lightning Racing at Cotswold SC

Tuesday September 24th 2002, Author: Joan Young, Location: United Kingdom
Only two visitors joined with three Cotswold boats for a pleasant day’s competition in light and variable conditions, shared with a Supernova fleet.

Race 1.

After a clean start, Jack Norton soon showed his talent by leaping to the front and remaining there. The finish was almost exciting as the first four boats closed up to cross the line within a few seconds of each other.

Result:- 1st–Norton, 2nd–Watts, 3rd-Hills, 4th Young, 5th Williams.

Race 2.

After a sumptuous three-course lunch, several cups of tea and a spot of sunbathing the fleet took to the water for the second race over a slightly shorter course in sunshine, but similar breezes to the morning.

With only five boats and a line length set for the near twenty Supernovas, it would have been interesting indeed had the start been other than clean and the home fleet were off like greyhounds. At the windward mark all five were bunched up with Hills first, Young second, Watts third and Norton fourth, followed closely by Williams.

Young incurred a 720, which sent him to the back and after the first lap, Hills still led, (the first outing for his new sail beginning to tell!) The shifty breeze at the windward mark caught out Young and Hills which let the visitors through to the front again. In the last lap, Williams pressed on past the faltering pair to finish an excellent third after barely three months of sailing the Lightning.

Result:- 1st-Watts, 2nd-Norton, 3rd-Williams, 4th-Hills, 5th-Young.

Race 3.

The 3rd race was sailed back to back only allowing a quick pit stop between races. The course was unchanged from the 2nd race and in slightly more breeze the fleet got off to a clean start. Hills, then Young led Watts round the windward mark, then left the other three behind, but it nearly got exciting again at the finish as the shorter course meant that the Lightning fleet got mixed with the Supernonas on the last beat, which slowed the leaders and allowed the visitors to catch up, leading to some hurried tacking for the line.

Result:- 1st-Hills, 2nd-Young, 3rd-Watts, 4th-Norton, 5th Williams.

The variable conditions were highlighted by the fact that the results were different for each race. The final results were:-

1st- Richard Watts (West Oxford S.C.)
2nd- Jack Norton (West Oxford S.C.)
3rd- Robert Hills (Cotswold S.C.)
4th- Andrew Young (Cotswold S.C.)
5th- Michelle Williams (Cotswold S.C.)

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