The third round of the Laser 2000 Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium Series, which took place at Oxford Sailing Club on 21-22 July, was characterised by light and variable winds
The third round of the Laser 2000 Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium Series, which took place at Oxford Sailing Club on 21-22 July, was characterised by light and variable winds.
The race officer set windward/leeward courses on the larger of the two Farmoor reservoirs, but found he had to keep moving the marks and start/finish line to cope the frequent and savage wind shifts.
The three races set for Saturday were sailed back to back in light south westerly winds. Skip, and 12 year old daughter, Zoe Atkins, winners at Langstone last month, set the pace by winning all three races, followed by Ian and Andrew Frogley in the first two races.
Local entrant Nigel Vick and Pippa Saffin used local knowledge to push the Frogleys into third on the final race of the day.
Further down the fleet Andrew and Kathryn Smith struggled to regain form from last year, having been off the water since last September, while regulars Paul and Lindsay Williams had a close tussle with Trevor and Caroline Bradley for third and fourth places.
Sunday morning dawned with almost no wind at all, but by the time of the first race there was sufficient breeze to set a course With everyone so keen to get away there were too many boats over the line at the start hence an inevitable general recall.
The first race eventually started about 10 minutes late, but many helmsmen were caught by a sudden windshift and lull which left them in irons on the line at the gun. Skip Atkins found enough clear air to get in front, eventually leading to another first. Trevor Bradley suffered badly at the start and never fully recovered leaving him in fifth place at the finish, whereas Ian Frogley managed to claw his way through the fleet to another second.
The tables were turned in race five when Ian Frogley dropped into a hole at the final leeward mark, only to have three boats run past him to the mark, dropping him from second to fourth.
The final race of the series, which took place after lunch, turned out to be one round in very light and variable winds. Although it appeared that another pin end start would be favourable, in the event those who chose the committee boat end got away from the fleet, with Nigel Vick just taking first from Skip Atkins.
The weekend ended with the Crewsaver donated prizes presented by Derek Beever, Commodore of Oxford Sailing Club. The prize for best lady helmsman was awarded to Helen Dancer, the junior prize the local Bennett boys.
1st Skip and Zoe Atkins Stone
2nd Nigel Vick and Pippa Saffin Oxford
3rd Ian and Andrew Frogley Thorney
4th Trevor and Caroline Bradley Littleton
5th Paul and Lindsay Williams Huddersfield
6th Martin Wakely