Sophie White and Andrew Fielder held off a determined final afternoon challenge from James Stewardson and Tom Morris to take the Island Barn 29er Grand Prix
Sophie White and Andrew Fielder held off a determined final afternoon challenge from James Stewardson and Tom Morris to take the Island Barn 29er Grand Prix last weekend.
The first day’s racing suffered from the absence of any real wind. It held up for just long enough to get in one single-lap race of the scheduled five. Sophie White and Andy Fielder won the drifter.
Day 2 started even worse, with thunder, torrential rain and hail to add to a light wind that moved through 180 degrees during the first race. Sophie Jones and Guy Fillmore led until the last twenty feet, when they were caught by Paul Turnill and Preston Taylor. Then the thunder clouds rolled away, the sun came out, the wind strengthened to a steady Force 3 north-westerly and some serious racing could begin.
At lunch, with five races on the board, White/Fielder (7 points) led National Squad members James Stewardson and Tom Morris (11 points) and Jones/Filmore (also11 points).
Hot favourites Stewardson/Morris had some work to do after lunch. But Jones/Filmore led from start to finish in Race 6, and White/Fielder did the same in Race7. In a rising breeze, Stewardson/Morris showed their class by blasting down wind into a late lead in Race 8, narrowing the points gap on White/Fielder to 2.
The last race was a classic shoot out between the top three boats. Jones/Filmore led at the first mark, but White/Fielder took them on the second beat. Third round were Stewardson/Morris and again they showed blistering downwind speed to catch White/Fielder on a port/starboard, forcing them to gybe, while maintaining their own pace to the finish.
1st Sophie White Andy Fielder 342 Burghfield 12pts
2nd James Stewardson Tom Morris 9 Ullswater 13 pts
3rd Sophie Jones Guy Filmore 703 Island Barn 18 pts
4th Hannah Tattersal John Mather 174 Wimbledon Park 25 pts
5th Dicken Maclean Nicola Groves 055 Island Barn 29 pts
6th Paul Turnill Preston Taylor 691 Bewel Valley 40 pts