GP14 Open at Tollesbury SC

GP14s - Tollesbury Open
The 2011 Tollesbury GP14 Open took place on Saturday, 17 September. With an F6 and heavy rain forecast, the fleet was depleted in size leaving visitors outnumbered only eight to six by locals.

The challenging conditions - a blustery force three to four south westerly with occasional gusts at five - were evident when Parsons and Parsons managed to go over before the first race preparatory. They sorted themselves out and set off with the rest of the fleet for the first and most exciting race of two laps on a figure eight course. There was a good clean start and it quickly became clear that the visitors from Seahorse, BTYC and Papercourt were making the running. Mark Wolf and Alex Dotsch were the winners of the sprint to windward off the start line.

Richard Lord and Norman Brown tucked in behind, having approached the mark on starboard and took right of way thorough the port tack throng. The leaders bore away on to the spinnaker reach to the second mark with a few lengths lead. Those who worked hardest gained most, and Richard and Norman did just that to win the overlap while taking their spinnaker down at the second mark.

A bunch of boats followed, fighting to get their spinnakers set. Two boats lost that fight and capsized; Lesley Kaye and Riccardo Chacon were soon up and off, but a spinnaker that refused to come down forced Ceri Rogers and Ed Coates to accept assistance and then retire.

Wolf and Dotsch kept company with Lord and Brown, Ward and Whitehill just behind, though Lord pulled out a 100m lead going into the penultimate leg. On the final downwind leg a grin started on Wolf's face as he watched Lord foul up the spinnaker hoist half way down. It spread to ear-splitting as the wind headed 30 degrees and spinnaker troubles persisted in front, allowing the chasing boats to catch up.

Upon rounding the leeward mark, Lord fluffed his tack and allowed Wolf to go smoothly round and off in the freeing wind to win the race. Ward and Whitehill sailed consistently well to take third. This was despite teasing by Richard Lord over their ‘vintage' boat, though he did acknowledge its immaculate preparation. Doyen of the fleet was in fact Chris Parsons' No 1365 ‘Fancy Pants', now superbly converted to Series two specification.

The breeze dropped dramatically for the second race, which started in similar fashion, though the three leading visitors had more company for most of the race. At the end of an exciting spinnaker reach, Mark Wolf had a gear problem which forced his retirement, so the results were Lord first, Ward second and local father and son Ron and Rob Laurie in third.

The final race saw early tussles in which Ward and Whitehill briefly led before Wolf and Dotsch took the lead. The third and final lap began just as the heavens opened and was sailed planing through rain so heavy it bounced off the sea, creating a white foam. Lesley Kaye excused her performance by saying that her contact lenses filled with water so she couldn't see where she was going. Benjamin Kaplan reckoned crew Chris Lomax and he had to endure hail mixed in with the rain. Mark Wolf and Alex Dotsch held on to their lead throughout to win the race and the overall meeting.

James Ward thanked Tollesbury for proving the usual combination of generous hospitality and efficient race management, whilst Lesley Kaye noted that it is unusual to have a ladies' prize, nevertheless it was very well received. Tollesbury's Nick and Val Lynn were awarded a prize for fastest Series one and Ron and Rob Laurie were the highest Tollesbury boat overall.

Mark Wolf's win confirmed him as the 2011 winner of the London and South East Travellers Trophy, with Lord and Ward close behind and set to fight it out for second at Frensham on October 9th.

Overall Results:
PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st 14014Mark WolfAlex DotschBTYC Sailsport1(DNF)12
2nd 14030Richard LordNorman BrownSeahorse SC-2123
3rdScooby Do13316James WardRichard WhitehillPapercourt SC-3235
4th 13402Robert LaurieRon LaurieTollesbury SC-5358
5th 13855Ben KaplanChris LomaxSeahorse SC4-548
6thLittle Tern13958George RogersJilly WilkinsonTollesbury SC-74610
7thTir n'an Og13553Stephen BrowneRichard KnightLeigh-on-Sea SC6-7713
8th 13662Lesley KayeRiccardo ChaconBTYC Sailsport-116814
9thIgglepiggle13971Phil RaynerCharlotte ToddTollesbury SC88-1016
10th 12126Nick LynnVal LynnTollesbury SC-99918
11thFancy Pants1365Chris ParsonsMaureen ParsonsTollesbury SC1010(DSQ)20
12thMr Happy11947Scott EdwardsJonathan BrooksTollesbury SC12(DNF)DNS27
13th 14058Ceri RogersEd CoatesTollesbury SC(DNF)DNSDNS30
13th 13703Alan HawtinWill PorterTollesbury SC(DNF)DNSDNS30

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