K6 Gul Grand Prix 2011 - Carsington Sailing Club

Ten K6s arrived at a windless Carsington for the first event in the Gul Grand Prix series on the morning of Saturday 19th March. Three new partnerships on the water for the first time here – Chris Hulme/Sue Shaw (who finished sixth overall with a best place of third); Phil Waterfall/David Hall (who somehow managed to forget that he was supposed to bringing a boom up with him from Rondar) and John Tabor with John Slack (who had responded to a “plea for crew” earlier in the month). Fortunately the wind filled in as forecast by lunchtime – nothing to write home about but, at 6 knots, enough to allow the afternoon’s programme of racing to start on time at 1300.

The first race was limited to two laps as the PRO tested out just what would be possible in the conditions. On the last downwind leg, locals Blake/Lucas went left to cover most of the fleet; Hyde/Fidgeon (also Carsington) took a bit of a flier and went right; this paid off for them as they rounded the bottom mark a couple of boats lengths ahead and held the lead to the line. Garner/Harvey completed a Carsington 1-2-3.

Race 2 saw last year’s winners, Kirkby/Mogielnicki (HISC), out in front by a “country mile” (appropriate for the setting) with Blake/Lucas again coming in second and National Champions Hitchcock/Nicholson (HISC), rapidly re-familiarising themselves with the boat after a six month absence, in third.

Race 3 saw the real dramas of the day unfold. The first two laps were completed in just over the half hour with Garner/Harvey (Carsington) in a commanding lead rounding the bottom mark for the second time ahead of Hitchcock/Nicholson and Blake/Lucas. The PRO decided not to shorten the course at this point so the fleet went around for a third time. Whilst Garner/Harvey found a band of wind (seemingly the only one on the water) on the left hand side which took them straight down to finish, the rest struggled to find anything at all as they approached the top mark. Hitchcock/Nicholson and Blake/Lucas also went left, whereupon the wind that Garner/Harvey had enjoyed promptly died; the rest of the fleet went right and got first use of the wind when it filled in on that side, enabling Hyde/Fidgeon, Hulme/Shaw (Carsington) and Waterfall/Hall (Carsington/Thorpe Bay) to jump ahead of them.

Back ashore in time to watch the Ireland-England rugby and have an early supper, courtesy of The Galley, followed by “the best beer on the tour” at The Red Lion in Hognaston.

Day 2 and the promised 8 to 9 knots of wind was there for the first race at 1000 and held for the rest of the series. Hitchcock/Nicholson, now back into the swing of the boat, got their first bullet of the weekend; they were followed home by Hyde/Fidgeon and Kirkby/Mogielnicki. Garner/Harvey, despite misreading the flags on the committee boat and crossing the line with the 700 Fleet at the end of the second lap (this was a combined event), held their position and finished in fourth, just ahead of Blake/Lucas. The same boats also formed the top five for the fifth race with Garner/Harvey, now paying close attention to the flags, getting their second bullet of the weekend. One race left and everything still to play for.

The last race of the day saw Garner/Harvey and Hyde/Fidgeon throwing everything back into the melting pot with their worst results of the event (6th and 8th respectively) and Blake/Lucas securing another third to keep them in the running for the prizes. The real drama was at the front of the fleet where Hitchcock/Nicholson, rounding the last mark just ahead of Kirkby/Mogielnicki, decided to drop their kite for the reach to the line. Kirkby/ Mogielnicki opted to carry theirs and rapidly gained ground on the leading boat, forcing Hitchcock/Nicholson to go for a hoist to try to hold their position. It was too little too late with Kirkby/Mogielnicki snatching their second bullet of the event by a couple of feet on the line.

Testament to the closeness of the racing was the fact that as the boats came off the water no one had any idea who had won the event. In the end Blake/Lucas were left rueing the last lap of Race 3, which saw them fall from third to sixth as the wind dropped; they finished fourth with a score of 15. Just ahead of them on 13 were three boats: Hitchcock/Nicholson (lowest total points scored before the one race discard) came third, the last race kite drop leaving them with a single race win. That left two boats, both with two bullets and with identical scores in their other three races to count – in the end Garner/Harvey pipped Kirkby/Mogielnicki to first place on the basis of a better discarded score.

An excellent weekend of tremendously close racing in varied conditions – apparently the 700s were there too but our racing was so good that no one noticed.

Many thanks to Carsington Sailing Club and all who helped to look after us; particularly to Carsington K6 owner and 2012 ARO, Henry Wright (our PRO) and his team for managing the challenging conditions on Day 1 so well. Thanks to all who turned out and made the event so enjoyable; we hope to see more of you next year.

19th March 2011

Rank

Boat Class

Club

Helm Name

Crew Name

Race Number
1
2
3
4
5
6
Total
Nett

1st

K6

205 Carsington SC

Howard Garner

Richard Harvey

3

4

1

4

1

-6

19

13

1st

K6

126 HISC

Peter Kirby

Marek Mogielnicki

4

1

-7

3

4

1

20

13

3rd

K6

155 HISC

David Hitchcock

Ian Nicholson

-5

3

5

1

2

2

18

13

4th

K6

112 Carsington SC

Stephen Blake

David Lucas

2

2

-6

5

3

3

21

15

5th

K6

209 Carsington SC

Chris Hyde

Martin Fidgeon

1

7

2

2

5

-8

25

17

6th

K6

165 Carsington SC

Chris Hulme

Sue Shaw

6

-8

3

7

6

5

35

27

7th

K6

200 Thorpe Bay

Nick Elmore

Rod Watson

7

6

-8

8

7

7

43

35

8th

K6

114 Carsington SC

Tony Harper

Steve Watson

-9

9

9

6

9

4

46

37

9th

K6

122 Oxford SC

John Tabor

John Slack

-10

10

10

9

8

9

56

46

10th

K6

135 Carsington SC

P . Waterfall

David Hall

8

5

4

(19.0 DNS)

19.0 DNS

19.0 DNS

74

55