Jack & Penny Win @ Netley
The light, Northerly, offshore breeze that was forecast did not arrive for the Scorpions and Larks that descended on Netley Sailing Club.
For the second weekend in a row the fleet were pre warned about potential thunder storms that could disrupt the weekend but the 12 boats headed out onto Southampton Water to take on the challenging conditions. Race 1 got under way after a short postponement, and it was Pete Grey and Rich Pepperdine (2022) who took full advantage of the conditions and sailed away to the win. Alex Hayman showed early form, helming for Hannah Buchanan (2028) to take 2nd, with Ric and Lucy Searle (2023) taking 3rd from Barry and Linda Wolfenden (2024) 4th.
Race 2 was the race for Jack Banks and Penny Jeffcoate (2017). Penny this week was with her normal helm they took victory, with Alex and Hannah again in 2nd, Pete and Rich 3rd and Janet and Alan Ritchie(2005) 4th.
Race 3 once again saw Pete and Rich sail off for the win, they were initially followed by Alex and Hannah after one lap, but after an altercation at the bottom mark saw them doing turns and dropping back in the fleet (Alex later admitted that the previous night’s socialising had caught up with him by that leeward mark). This let Jack and Penny take 2nd, Ric and Lucy 3rd and Pete Mitchell and Simon Forbes (2013) 4th.
After sailing everyone was greeted with Pimms and scones on the shore to celebrate one of the Lark sailors getting married. This led onto the classic Netley party, with a quality BBQ and fire pit before a lively evening watching the World Cup.
The sailors awoke bleary eyed after car alarms going off in the night and the self-induced headaches after the previous evening’s shenanigans but after the classic full English breakfast we were ready to go.
After another short postponement the fleet headed out for a second day of shifty tidal sailing. Race 4 got underway with the boats coming off the port end of the line looking in good shape. At the first mark it was Alex and Hannah leading with Jack and Penny 2nd and Pete and Rich 3rd. They both took Alex and Hannah after spotting some bigger breeze coming down Southampton Water and staying high on the reach. The front two exchanged positions a couple of times on the way around before Pete and Rich took the victory from Jack and Penny 2nd with Alex and Hannah 3rd and an unfortunate mistake made by team Searle in missing the spreader mark, meant they let through team Richie for 4th and team Wolfenden for 5th. After the race, it was noticed there was a mysterious disappearance from Pete and Simon. Later we were to discover that Simon had fallen foul to a dodgy Jaeger Bomb from the night before.
Race 5 had a slight rearrangement in marks before the start. First the windward mark was time for team Wolfenden to show a turn of form followed by Alex and Hannah and Penny and Jack. Team Wolfenden led for the first lap before the two behind slowly caught up. After Jack and Penny had got passed Alex and Hannah they were in hot pursuit of Team Wolfenden. Jack and Penny pushed into the lead up the second beat. The front three stayed in the same positions for the rest of the race with Pete and Rich making a late charge to push past team Ritchie and Get onto the back of the front three but unable to break into it up the last beat to the finish.
Race 6 had another change in the breeze with a big right hand shift. At the front there was a sense of deja vu, as team Wolfenden once again led with Jack and Penny 2nd and Fast Eddy Parsons (1970) 3rd. Alex and Hannah quickly passed Fast Eddy to get into 3rd. Fast Eddy Managed to hold of Pete and Rich for the first lap. Again, Jack and Penny managed to get through team Wolfenden with a big right hand shift up the second beat. Pete and Rich along with team Ritchie managed to pass Fast Eddy in the same shift and soon began the chase to the front 3. By the last run Pete and Rich were hot on the heels of Alex and Hannah, but with a wrong choice of gybes down the last run fell off again to finally finish 4th. The front three remained the same with Jack and Penny Winning from Team Wolfenden and Alex and Hannah.
Congratulations goes to Jack and Penny who managed to master the tricky conditions to take the overall win from overnight leaders Pete and Rich, who finished second with Alex and Hannah 3rd.
Thanks to Netley Sailing Club for organising a great event with a great BBQ and we hope we are invited back next year.
Thanks To Rich Thoroughgood for the pictures
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