Compared to the cold wind, rain and mud at the Norwich ranking event two weeks earlier, 11 entries and Guildford race team enjoyed balmy weather. 12 races were sailed in really difficult light weather conditions that varied from calm to just 5 mph and constantly changed direction.
By lunchtime the main direction of the wind had changed 90° and so Race Officer, Martin Crysell, wisely changed to the western control area to give a better windward leeward course up and down the lake for the basically north-westerly wind.
The early races were won by four different skippers, Peter Stollery sailing an UP. Rob Vice sailing an UPROAR, John Cleave with his brand-new GRUNGE and Roger Stollery with his UP. The lunchtime leaderboard was dominated by Peter and Rob with a score of just seven points each. Mention has to be made of the enthusiasm for Marblehead racing by Vinnie Zammit from the Norwich club. He travelled to West Kirby and competed in their open event on the Saturday and then drove another 200 miles to Abbey Meads for a further 12 races on Sunday, in search of more practice for the coming World Marblehead Championship in BIBLIS Germany at the end of the month. His enthusiasm was rewarded by three podium places for his pink STARKERS with second places in Race 2 and 10 and a special prize for the furthest travelled.
With the variable wind there was an element of luck involved and Roger admitted to having a lot of it! On several occasions on the final beat to the finishing line, he often took an indirect route to find the wind and at great speed catch or beat the leading boats becalmed nearer the control area.
Competitors thanked Martin and Alan Viney for running another good Mermaid under difficult conditions. As well as the Mermaid, the Ted Gearey trophy for the best improver during the event and the Vic Cooney trophy for the best veteran were presented to Roger.
More information about Marbleheads can be found on the website www.marbleheadsailing.wordpress.com
1st Roger Stollery Guildford UP 19
2nd Peter Stollery Guildford UP 20
3rd Rob Vice Guildford UPROAR 25
4th John Cleave Ryde GRUNGE 39
5th Vinnie Zammit Norwich STARKERS 42
6th David Adam Woking PRIME NUMBER 46
7th Roy Pearson Guildford PRIME NUMBER 62
8th Peter Dunne Guildford STARKERS 80
9th John Shorrock Datchet QUARK 83