Nineteen Hornets contested the Final Fling event at Rutland on Saturday 14 October

Nineteen Hornets travelled to Rutland on Saturday 14 October to contest for the last Final Fling Trophy before the class celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

Saturday was warm with no breeze on the harbour. Eventually the mist cleared to enable the race officer to set a provisional 1330 start time. Race one therefore got underway with only Tillyer and Barnett (2160) going back for being over the line, in what was becoming an increasingly light and patchy breeze. The majority of the fleet elected to sail up the left hand side of the beat with John Jones and June Riley (2059) developing a small lead over Thorpe Bay pairing of Mark and Paul Dell (2146). Places remained tight down the following triangle amongst the chasing pack led by Strangler and Julia (2132). Places stayed the same up the following beat with a shortened course Jones and Riley held onto the lead with the Dells second Strangler third and Tom Guy and Rob Smith (2171) fourth.

With a dying breeze the race officer decided to postpone race two until the following day, a decision greatly appreciated by the fleet. This obviously had more of an effect on some, with the Thorpe Bay crew deciding that loud House music and fireworks were the only way to celebrate The Final Fling, all finished off with a refreshing 2am swim.

Sunday morning mirrored Saturday – warm and zeros breeze on the harbour. A 1030 start was immediately postponed until 1330 when the breeze filled in beautifully to produce a variable Force 3. Due to the postponement two short races were planned, a simple triangle then sausage.

Race two was a clean get away for the fleet. At the windward mark Chris and Mark Hogan (2126) led with Jones second and the Dells third. Behind these three the chasing pack was very tightly contested with numerous place changes down the subsequent triangle. The second beat saw the Hogans consolidate their lead with second and third places remaining the same down the run to the finish. Andy Long and Mark McGarry (2157) took fourth. Dave and Fran Wood took a closely fought fifth- position.

With the Race Officer eager to get racing finished, race three was to be the decider with the Hogans, Strangler, Jones and the Dells all in contention. A clean start once again saw the fleet quickly reach the windward mark this time led by Strangler. The Hogans followed with Newing (2075) leading the chasing pack. Positions remained the same to the following beat which saw Long (2157) show good speed in gaining three places to move into third position while trying to catch the disappearing Strangler and Hogans. Jones however, also recovered on this leg and tagged himself onto the back of the tight pack of Newing, the Barnes’ (2176) and West (2155) in fourth, fifth and sixth. Places however, remained unchanged down the run. With the first three boats clear it was tight racing all the way down the rest of the fleet. At the finish Jones had just managed to sail through the three boats in front of him giving him fourth place and a good enough discard to win the event.

Overall Results (3 races, 1 discard)

1st John Jones and June Riley (2039) 3pts

2nd Chris and Mark Hogan (2126) 3pts

3rd Strangler and Julia Hoyle (2132) 4pts