'Visitors hold off Scaling Dam youths to take NEYTS honours' 8th April
A big thank you to everyone who helped make the NEYTS Open run so smoothly on Saturday both on shore and on the water. A particular thanks to Sam Young and Hazel Meynell who were stuck in the galley & didn’t get to enjoy the blazing sunshine.
A fleet of 7 visitors and 9 local boats, ranging from Lasers to Optimists, arrived at Scaling Dam on 8th April for the first NEYTS Open of the year. As the boats rigged in bright sunshine the light wind got patchier and patchier to the point where the competitors briefing was followed by the AP going up. Fortunately a sea breeze started to build shortly after 11, and the first race started around 11:30 on a triangular course.
First race: After a clean start the Lasers, Radial and Byte quickly pulled clear of the bulk of the fleet, while the leading Optimists were putting pressure on the small group of Toppers. The course was shortened to finish the leading Topper at the end of his second lap, with the four fastest boats being sent round for a third lap. The race was won by Oscar Shilling, closely followed by Patrick Beukenholdt, both in Optimists, with Ben Russell third in the Byte C2.
Second race. This took place on the same course with the beat shortened slightly to tighten up the top reach. Angus MacKenzie pushed his Topper hard on the start, but was over and had to go back. The course change slightly favoured the Optimists, with Oscar and Patrick followed into third by Dan Curtis and the Toppers being pushed further down the fleet.
Third race: After lunch the course was changed to a trapezoid, with the beat moved further across the lake as the wind had shifted slightly. The wind became lighter and shiftier as the race continued, eventually disappearing altogether shortly after Angus in the leading Topper had been sent round for a fourth lap, only to fill back in from the originally forecast south west. The Byte, Radial and leading Laser escaped the worst of the gaps in the wind, getting the last puffs of sea breeze as they came down the dam wall, while the bulk of the fleet were bunched near the club house. Once the new breeze filled in the fleet finished all in a tight group with a dead heat between Oscar and Patrick, but Ben took the win in his Byte, followed by Maddie Metcalfe in her Radial and Izzy Brining choosing a good day to try out a full rig Laser for the first time.
Final race: The Race Officer kept the fleet afloat on a postponement while the wind stabilised and the committee boat was moved and reverted to a triangular course for the final race of the day. Ben decided the weather was getting far too hot and had a spectacular swim on the run on the second lap as the breeze increased. Again, the racing between Patrick and Oscar was extremely tight and very vocal, with Oscar just holding on for the win and Angus coming through in third. Nicky Jackson and Phoebe Douglas also had some very close racing in their Toppers, with Phoebe managing to pass Nicky on the last reach to take 5th with Nicky in 6th.
Racing in the Spring sunshine on Scaling Dam 9th April
With half a dozen regular sailors on an RYA Instructor Assessment course, and a few more recovering from the NEYTS Open, the fleet was smaller than normal at the start of racing on Sunday. The weather was fantastic with bright sunshine and a solid F4 blowing out of the bird reserve and the race officers set a course making full use of the lake and including a couple of cracking reaches. The results were dominated by the single handers yet again, with Zoe Meynell taking the win in the Streaker, followed by Pete Snowdon in his Laser and Paul Souter in the Phantom.
The wind continued to build during lunch, and a squall during the start sequence saw a couple of boats head back to the shore, followed by a few more during the first lap. Carl Wood was forced to retire having snapped his tiller. Pete Snowdon showed us all how it should be done taking a convincing win with Zoe in 2nd and Steve Fletcher in third.