Jo Richards and team aboard Stephen Fein's 'Full Pelt' was the overall winner of the sailpower.com 1720 Midwinter championship. Mike Budd won the Melge class.
The sailpower.com-sponsored 1720 and Melges Mid Winter Championship on November 4-5 consisted of three windward/leeward races on Saturday and then the two scheduled races that were part of the fifth Sunday of the MDL Hamble Winter Series. The Melges 24 class had eight entries with Mike Budd travelling down from Cheshire for the weekend.
Saturday’s weather was a pleasant contrast to the recent extremes that have been experienced in the Solent, about 10-12 knots out of the south-west. Even the presence of numerous fishing boats on their annual pursuit of the oyster beds off the Meon shore didn’t interfere with the racing.
In the Melges 24 class Mike Budd, Gul, soon established an early lead by winning the first two races. Some of the helmsmen underestimated the tide around the top mark. ‘Team Woolwich’ suffered the most having to do a penalty turn on the first round of race one. This put them down to fifth. Stuart Simpson, sailing his new boat ‘The New Barbarian’, gave Budd the most competition by finishing second in the first two races before winning the third race, with Budd second. Edward Leask, ‘Racketeer’, was the most consistent of the other boats. In the Cork 1720 class Stephen Fein, ‘Full Pelt’, won all three races with the minor places shared fairly equally between Brett Lewis, ‘sailpower.com’, John Stamp sailing ‘Jacob’ and Alex Willard, ‘Trust IT Consulting’.
Sunday’s racing turned out to be a full blooded affair. The weather forecast was marginally better than the previous week and this allowed all classes to race. The wind had gone round to the south-east and started at about 20 knots. This was to build during the racing period until by early afternoon it was nearly 28 knots. The low tide meant that the sea state was very unfriendly for the Sportsboats race area.
The Melges 24 competed as part of the Sportsboat Rules class on Sunday and Budd was adjudged to be OCS for the first race. Dave Sowry, ‘Between the Sheets’, sailed a fine race to be first boat home in the main fleet with Quentin Strauss, ‘Gill’, in second place. However, Budd made no mistake in the final race to win from Sowry and take the overall prize. Luckiest, or unluckiest, helmsman was Simpson who completed the final race then ran into the back of a large wave and lost his mast overboard.
The Cork 1720 fleet was back up to full strength for Sunday’s races and Fein and Lewis shared a win and a third each while Stamp had two seconds. On countback Lewis took second place overall because of his final race win.
1st 454, ‘Gul’ Mike Budd 1, 1, 2 , 9, 1, 14pts
2nd 484, ‘New Barbarian’ Stuart Simpson 2, 2, 1, 9, 3, 17
3rd 259, ‘Between the Sheets’ Dave Sowry 8, 5, 6, 1, 2, 22pts
4th 431, ‘Gill’ Quentin Strauss 6, 6, 5, 3, 4, 24pts
5th 407, ‘Racketeer’ Edward Leask 4, 3, 4, 9, 9, 29pts
6th 334, ‘Team Woolwich’ 5, 4, 3, 9, 9, 30pts
7th 410, ‘Fiver’ Colin Bishop 3, 7, 9, 9, 9, 37pts
8th 255, ‘Eat my Shorts’ Marcus Gabriel 7, 8, 7, 9, 9 , 40pts
1st 1736, ‘Full Pelt’ Stephen Fein 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 7pts
2nd 1760, ‘Sailpower.com’ Brett Lewis 3, 2, 3, 3, 1, 12pts
3rd 1711, ‘Jacob’ John Stamp 2, 4, 2, 2, 2, 12pts
4th 1717, ‘Trust IT Consulting’ Alex Willard 4, 3, 4, 4, 4, 19pts