HANSA Open at Notts County

Eleven visitors joined 1 home boat for a series of 4 races at Notts County on Wednesday 15th May. Travellers from London, Surrey, Northampton and Rutland were greeted by a rather gloomy start with an ominous threat of rain but whilst we saw little in the way of blue sky it lightened up, warmed up a little and most importantly a very pleasant breeze filled in.

Race Officer John Davie was taking the lead at his first HANSA ably assisted by Dave Snutch who has been in the hot seat for at least the last 6 years.

Unusually for Notts the breeze was in an easterly direction, a point not lost on a fleet member who told us that in 15 years of attending events at Notts she had never known the breeze to come from there.

With briefings done and some slick work by the super efficient shore crew all boats launched and were milling for a prompt 11am start.

John had been able to set a triangular course using two movable marks and two of the club’s permanent can and all 4 fleets got away in 3 starts with no recalls.

The guidance for Hansa racing is short 30 minute races and with the Libertys completing their first round in around 14 minutes it became clear that 2 laps would do nicely.

The Liberty fleet was made up of 3 rivals from Rutland SC Ric Cassell took the first win with Paul Pearson 2nd and Simon Harle 3rd. In race 2 1st and 2nd swapped places.

The 303 1 person and 303 2 person fleets started together. Mike Everitt from Frensham took the honours in both opening races with local sailor Debra Pennington 2nd. The pairing of Tim Settle and Dave Morris took both wins in the double.

Lindsay Burns and Lara Sturgess both from Frensham competed the 2.3 class with Lindsay taking the win in both opening contests.

It was then in for lunch in Pauline’s famous galley and John decided on a 2pm start for the afternoon races.

The obligatory check of the burgee on Triton, the NCSC committee boat evidenced a fairly significant right shift so a bit of  resetting was required. With the direction swinging between two permanent marks about 50 metres apart John and Dave agreed on a mid point average and whether by good fortune or raw skill the direction at the start of each of the two races was absolutely bang on the windward mark.

With all clean away for the 3rd starts the Libertys repeated their race 2 order with Paul edging ahead.

We witnessed a brilliant port flyer from Leslie Philip (Tideway) which he held until mark one before being overtaken by Debra and Mike. Debra looked to be getting the better of it as they went through the gate on lap one but Mike obviously spotted something on the next beat as he had developed a commanding lead by the next mark.

Tim and Dave posted another win in R3 in the double hander and Lindsay recorded her 3rd win in the 2.3.

By race 4 the 303s and 2.3 results were already decided but it was all to play for in the Libertys. The wind had got up a little and it became obvious that 2 laps would be just a little too short so John made the decision to let the leaders battle it out for a 3rd particularly as they literally side by side at the lap 2 gate.  In the end it was Ric who got the better of it and took the series on count back.

A spokesperson for the fleet said “we’ve had a great day, but we always do, we love coming here”

Well done to all sailors and a huge thanks to the volunteers at NCSC who made it all possible.

Report Dave Snutch
Photos: Graham Stamper
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