This event was a combined Winter Championship with the Scorpions and Larks. The weekend comprised of six back-to-back races with 3 on Saturday followed by 3 on Sunday, with the emphasis on a quick turnaround. The 19 Enterprises on Saturday were greeted with a F2 and a shifty northerly.
Race one was started promptly under the U flag, it was John and Chris Blundell who were in the groove right from the off and rounded first followed by Nick Jackson/Becca Stephens then Martin and Abigail Honnor. On the second lap Martin/Abigail pulled through to second while Jonathan Woodward/Jake Willars who went left climbed into third.
The second race saw two boats falling foul of the U flag, it was Jonathan/Jake who rounded first this time with John/ Chris closely behind. These two managed to establish a 10 boat lead, exchanging places on the beat and run. John/Chris were the eventual winners.
In third race it was Neil and Sophie Barrett who rounded first followed by Paul Hobson/Craig Wheatley then John/Chris, on the final beat they split tacks in an attempt to catch Neil/Sophie who held on to their lead while John/Chris finished second.
The overnight leaders were John/Chris with two firsts and a second. With all the fleets having a reputation of partying hard they retired to the shore to get ready for the evening entertainment of a black-tie dinner and disco
Credit: Paul Gibbins Photography
The fleet woke with some sore heads and greeted by a cold northerly blowing F5. In the 4th race it was Phil/ Catriona Bevan who took the lead followed by Neil/Sophie, who managed to take the lead on the last lap with Phil/Catriona second. Jonathan/Jake capsized at the last gybe mark allowing Steve Blackburn/ Ian Ritchie to clinch third.
The 5th race was led from start to finish by Steve/Ian who took advantage of a shift on the first beat and made the most of the gusty conditions, second was Tim Sadler/Rich Sault.
At the start of the last race Neil/Sophie and John/Chris were only separated by discards, but it was Neil/Sophie who came out on top to take the win while Jonathan/Jake were pipped on the line by Steve/Ian.
So the Winters Champions were Neil & Sophie, with John & Chris second and Jonathan & Jake third. The first Lady helm was Alice Allen, crewed by Akshan Jirasinha and the first under 16 crew was Jake Willars. The lucky winners were awarded some marvellous prizes from sponsors North Sails and Kingfisher Ropes.
This event was also the culmination of the Enterprise National Circuit, which has been sailed at various clubs around the country during the year. The winners of the Circuit were John & Chris Blundell who won buoyancy aids provided by event sponsor Peak Dinghy. Second were Tim and Salty (Tim’s other crews for the series were James Hobson and Akshan). Third were Jonathan and Jake (Jon’s crew for all other circuit events was Karen Alexander). First Lady Helm was Ann Jackson with crew Chris Keatley (Alan Skeens crewed for Ann in all other circuit events).
Northampton SC hosted an amazing event and special thanks go to Steve Graham as Race Officer and Elaine & team for producing an incredible buffet meal for 130 people in the evening.
Once again, huge thanks to the event sponsors, North Sails, Peak Dinghy and bonus sponsor, Kingfisher Ropes.
Entry is now online for the Enterprise National Championship at Exe SC next July / August and the first 14 entries have been received, helped greatly by North Sails’ generous offer of free entry with the purchase of a suit of sails during October. Enter before the end of January 2018 to take advantage of discounted entry.
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