Hill Head action for Laser SB3 Solent Cup

Four bullets and goodnight from 3 Sad Old Blokes

Monday September 1st 2008, Author: Eddie Mays, Location: United Kingdom
With some of the local boats away in Ireland preparing for the first Laser SB3 World Championships there were still enough boats from the strong Solent fleet to make the Laser SB3 Solent Cup a very competitive event hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

Saturday was a splendid day. A proper summer's day, at last, with hazy sunshine that gradually got brighter and a good ESE'erly breeze that stayed between 15 – 20 kts, with occasional gusts to 25 kts. Testing conditions that over the day accounted for a few retirements through minor gear failure.

P.R.O. Tony Lovell set a windward / leeward course off the Hill Head shore and got the first race off cleanly at the appointed time, which was slightly embarrassing for a number of boats who had underestimated the time it would take to sail out to the start area. With a strong NW'erly tide against the fleet Royal Southern's Jerry Hill helming his new boat , 3 Sad Old Blokes, headed straight into the Meon shore, taking most of the fleet with him. By the top mark Hill held a small, but significant, lead ahead of a group of four with the rest of the fleet spread back down the beat. The leaders all choose to go back to the North shore in the search of more breeze. One or two of the back markers elected to go out into the favourable tide but the gains here were minimal. Hill maintained his lead on the shorter second lap. Daniel Geoghegan (R.Srn.Y.C.), Platinum Blonde, was one of the latecomers at the start but by the second downwind leg he had climbed to finish 6th.

Nothing had really changed at the start of the second race and the pin end of the line was most helms' choice. Hill was again first to the top mark but behind him life was much more difficult. Coming into the top mark on port tack Geoghegan was forced off his layline by Tim Fells sailing Shaun Beaver, and he had to wear about and try another approach to the top mark. He met a whole stream of starboard tack boats and had to try again. This time he did find a gap but had dropped to mid-fleet. Whether it was a stronger tide or dirty air but the tailenders found it even more difficult to get round the top mark safely. Several boats hit the mark, some did their penalty turn, others didn't. Oh! for the days when all marks were made of metal! Hill sailed serenely on to record his second win. Christina Summerhayes and the girls on Team MacLaren made up good ground to finish in 3rd place behind Fells.

The third start saw the boats more evenly spread along the line. Mark Richards, sneakylookatporn.com ( ex-Badger Racing) had favoured the committee boat end of the line all day and this time he had more company, including the South African boat City of Cape Town (Dave Hudson), which had missed the first two races. Hill stuck to his guns at the pin end and by the time the leaders reached the top mark Hudson had the edge, by a boat's length. Both boats went right towards the shore, Hudson gybed first and came out into the favourable tide but it was in vain as the extra breeze off the shore gave Hill the lead at the bottom mark. He maintained a 10 sec lead over Hudson during the second lap. Mark Richards tacked under Tim Fells' bow at the line and took 3rd place by 2 secs.

A slackening tide at the start of the day's final race encouraged the fleet to hit the line at the gun but one boat was adjudged OCS. Hill persevered with the inshore line but the gain was less this time and it was Summerhayes that squeezed around the mark ahead of Richards with Hill in 3rd. The front two decided to gybe and go out into the main stream and this left Hill with the his favourite side and yet again it paid. He took the lead on the first downwind leg and completed a clean sweep of wins. Summerhayes finished 2nd with Hudson 3rd. Back at the clubhouse everyone enjoyed the Pimms reception that was sponsored by Antler Homes and even the Bar-B-Que being cooked in the kitchen couldn't spoil the high spirits the day's racing had generated.

What a difference a day makes. The weather on Sunday morning had regressed into a depressing overcast sky, the odd rattle of thunder and showers. By 10:30, the scheduled start of the first race, the very light wind faded and then over the next two hours swung from North to Southwest, via East and South. By 12:30 there was no sign that it was going to stabilise and give a stable platform to set a course. By mutual agreement between the Class Captain and the P.R.O. racing was cancelled. This gave the Solent Cup to Jerry Hill with his crew Joe Llewellyn & Sam Minns.

More pictures on page 2.

Boat Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1st 3 Sad Old Blokes Jerry Hill Joe Llewellyn & Sam Minns 1 1 1 1 4
2nd Shaun Beaver Tim Fells Sue Fells, A Ramus & J Wilkinson 7 2 4 6 19
3rd sneakylookatporn.com Mark Richards Chris Gould & Simon De Lisle 13 5 3 4 25
4th Team Maclaren Christina Summerhayes C Williamson & S Oswald 16 3 5 2 26
5th Scoundrel The T'Ird Paul Foddy Nick Shuttleworth & Pete Smithin 3 8 11 9 31
6th Platinum Blonde Daniel Geoghegan TBC 6 10 6 11 33
7th Eau No Mark Stokes Rich Gray & Tim Barclay 4 7 13 12 36
8th Racing Snake Steve McLean Ben & Mickey 5 15 9 14 43
9th Here Comes Bod Charles Whelan Richard McAdam & Keith Lyon 28.0 DNS 4 8 5 45
10th Flamin Galah J Brech M Anderson & R Bird 2 11 28.0 RAF 7 48
11th Lets Be Free Tim Gallego S Baillie Strong & J Tanner 28.0 DSQ 6 7 10 51
12th Sacre Bleu! Giles Peckham Milo Carver & Jane Peckham 11 13 12 16 52
13th Shakoush R. Hodgson A Leonard & C Trainer 14 16 15 8 53
14th Talk Talk Martin Wadsworth Ian Lewis & TBC 8 20 16 15 59
15th City of Cape Town Dave Husdon 28.0 DNC 28.0 DNC 2 3 61
16th Laser Performance Ian Martin Claire Stopps & Ian Mills 28.0 DNS 9 10 18 65
17th Hullabaloo Andrew Dallas Emma Dallas & Georgina Dallas 10 14 20 23 67
18th Retail Therapy C Shephard C Fry & A Roberts 28.0 DNS 12 14 13 67
19th Streaky Bacon Jason Pyke Pauline McCracken & Alan Bell 12 18 18 20 68
20th Skallywag James Ford & Rob Day Ian Lansley & Nina Day 9 23 23 21 76
21st Team Novai Toby Gorman David Lampkin & Steve Inskip 15 25 24 19 83
22nd Triple Sambuca Jo Dyson 28.0 DNS 17 22 17 84
23rd Ozonic Chris Brooks Tom Brooks & Julia Brooks 28.0 DNS 19 19 22 88
24th Trio Gary Baker John Stevens & Derek Sowerby 28.0 DNC 24 17 28.0 DNF 97
25th Team Green Mark Greenaway Jamie Wright & Adam Soutar 28.0 DNS 21 21 28.0 DNC 98
26th Barbarian BenSturges & Mike Orange TBC 28.0 DNS 22 28.0 DNF 28.0 DNC 106
27th Bathstore Tim Cork Mark Foley & Mike Wood 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNC 28.0 DNC 112

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