Chipstead Sailing Club 2014 Firefly Open Meeting

Chipstead Sailing Club played host to 15 Fireflies at their open meeting on
Sunday 7th September with sunshine and very light N to NW winds which
taxed race officer Alex Ross and competitors alike. The home fleet was pleased to welcome 8 visiting boats and a particular feature of the day was the number of very young daughters, sons, a granddaughter and a young friend, all crewing with much success.

Chipstead Sailing Club played host to 15 Fireflies at their open meeting on Sunday 7th September with sunshine and very light N to NW winds which taxed race officer Alex Ross and competitors alike.

The home fleet was pleased to welcome 8 visiting boats and a particular feature of the day was the number of very young daughters, sons, a granddaughter and a young friend, all crewing with much success.

Race 1

Stuart Hudson & Sally Wakefield and Nigel Wakefield & Emily Saunderson, who were to battle throughout the event were soon up front with Steven Greaves, aided no doubt by his super-mini crew son Arthur, in close attendance. The wind was enough to send the fleet off to the east end of the lake and on its return Nigel & Emily were well in front. The race was shortened and Nigel & Emily were followed in by Stuart & Sally, Steven & Arthur, Lucy Boreham crewed by Rachael Crebbin. The home sailors were led home by Luke Hagon crewed by the boat’s owner, John Taylor Ingle.

Race 2

After an early lunch, the second race got underway and proved to be the most hotly contested at the front of the fleet. At the start, Steven & Arthur, Stuart & Sally and Alister & Graham Barker got well off the line but, after a very taxing beat, it was the Chipstead boat of Neil & Jennie Banks who grabbed their moment of fame by leading at the windward mark followed by Alexander Baxter & Olivia Balfour, the ever-present Stuart & Sally and the rest of the fleet. However, it was not to last.

A large tightly packed group contested the run to the second mark where Nigel & Emily and Steven & Arthur rounded together leaving much calling for mark room behind them. On the ensuing reach Nigel & Emily sailed well clear of the fleet followed by Steven & Arthur and Stuart & Sally. With a lot of fast roll tacking, Stuart & Sally took the lead. It was all about spotting the wind streaks and keeping in them. Nigel & Emily regained the lead with Steven & Arthur snapping at their heels.

In the fast tacking duel that followed, Nigel & Emily were seen to do a 720 turn and dropped to third in the process. By this time the rest of the fleet was well behind and Steven & Arthur pulled out a good lead with Nigel & Emily and Stuart & Sally battling for second place. Steven & Arthur were lapping the tail enders with Nigel & Emily in close attendance and Stuart & Sally dropping back. Again the course was shortened. Unfortunately Steven & Arthur, who crossed first, discovered that they had been OCS and were disqualified leaving Stuart & Sally and Nigel & Emily second and third and a long gap to the rest. Again, Luke Hagon led in the home fleet this time crewed by young Callum Sarsfield.

Race 3

The final race got underway once the previous race’s tail enders had got back to base and Stuart & Sally really got their skates on this time, building up a huge lead which they never looked like losing. In a dying wind which left many struggling, Stuart & Sally were first home by the proverbial mile followed by Steven & Arthur and Edward Smith crewed by his young daughter Sophie. Luke & Callum completed a clean sweep by leading the home fleet to the finish.

Some domestic excitement was generated by Chipstead Firefly class captain Chris Moore, crewed by his son Tom, who decided to go for a gap that just wasn’t there at the leeward mark. Despite increasingly desperate warnings of no mark room he pushed on and took out his predecessor as class captain, Neil Banks, losing him many places. After a 720 turn cordial relations were resumed and there were no fisticuffs on shore.

Other notable achievements were by Tony Meyrick who completed all three races crewed by his young granddaughter Holly, Will Mason who did the same with his daughter Polly and by Rob Trend & Dave Rudman, two ‘robust’ Chipstead Solo class sailors who managed to finish without breaking the boat kindly lent by Nigel Fordyce.

Another point of note was that Alexander Baxter was using an experimental fly-away jib stick system for which he had been granted dispensation to assess its success or otherwise.

Image Gallery

Chipstead Image Gallery

Overall Result:

1st Stuart Hudson & Sally Wakefield F3850
2nd Nigel Wakefield & Emily Saunderson F3674
3rd Steven Greaves & Arthur Greaves F186
First CSC boat Luke Hagon & Callum Sarsfield F209
First Junior Alexander Baxter & Olivia Balfour F2246

The prizes were kindly presented by club commodore Greg Jenkins.