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TOPIC: FGSC @ Essex Dinghy Championships

FGSC @ Essex Dinghy Championships 7 months 3 weeks ago #169

  • John Williams
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Following a day off from sailing yesterday many of us will be back on the water this evening for the final race of the Sunset Salver.

Having found his winning ways will Richard Coulter manage a win thereby denying Paul Bidwell 3rd place on the podium or will Paul seek to emulate Ben Ainslie at the 2012 Olympics and match race Richard down the fleet?

Be there to find out!
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FGSC @ Essex Dinghy Championships 7 months 3 weeks ago #168

  • John Williams
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Eight boats form FGSC made the journey to Stone S.C. for these championships sailed over the August bank holiday weekend. Despite no shows from 2 expected Lasers we were still the largest visiting club contingent. The Merlins were the joint second largest class in the fast handicap division behind the ISOs who were using the event for their nationals. Solos were the largest slow handicap class.

The Saturday races were also for the Stone Challenge cups. As boats began launching in a good easterly force 5 the wind ramped up to force 6 leading to a postponement until it had moderated a little. With wind against tide conditions were difficult. Several fast handicap decided to play but no super fast and only 3 slow. When the maestro that is Paul Rayson elects to tack round rather than gybe you know it is seriously windy! Some carnage ensued with broken / damaged masts and other damage being sustained. This included both the Steward family Merlins but copious amounts of epoxy (Jon) and duct tape (Harry) saw both boats sailing again the next day. Richard and Christian managed to keep their Merlin mast above the hull and deservedly won the fast handicap cup. They were pushed hard by a local Phantom which may have caused Nick difficulty deciding who to cheer on while spectating. This was to be the only silverware brought home by FGSC.

The clubhouse was crammed with the sailors from 50+ boats plus a plethora of SWAGs for each evening meal. FGSC sailors demonstrated superior tactics when it really mattered - by nabbing the tables closest to the bar!

Sunday was warm enough but dull and overcast with a bit less wind although still enough to result in some swimming and retirements in the first race and boats deciding not to compete in the afternoon. The morning race included for many the highlight of the weekend - a flat out planing reach for over half a mile. For others it was the cream tea accompanied by bubbly following the afternoon race.

Monday was the hottest day of the weekend, sun specs and lotion being essential. The first race started in a light north westerly which became patchy as the sea breeze filled in opposing the gradient wind. The second race, sailed back to back, became a test of perseverance as the sea breeze cancelled out the gradient breeze. In the slow handicap race only 3 boats rounded the windward mark before the breeze disappeared and the ebbing tide pushed the remainder away from it. The fast handicap fleet was becalmed for a while and when the breeze did fill in it compressed the fleet before a sprint to the finish.

With other FGSC boats having already attended Stone Week earlier in the summer is Stone becoming the new Salcombe?
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