LWA Melting Pot
What a fabulous day, quite the warmest of the year so far, reminding us of those London Region Melting Pot Events some years ago at the Welsh Harp when Xav Ferlet and John Ellis were strutting their stuff in shortie wetsuits! No one was quite so adventurous, but there were more than a few summer suits in evidence. 14 Raceboards – five of them the new Starboard Phantom 380’s – and 4 Technos turned out to ease themselves into the new season.
Midlands Region Chairman Bob Ingram, down south for a meeting of the recently formed UK Raceboard Association, was determined to show these southern characters how it should be done. In Race One he managed a brilliant start (see photo) and held on to his lead despite the best efforts of Rob Kent and Doug Starr to unseat him. Having said that, Bob was sailing a 10.25 against the other two on 9.5s, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless in the shifting winds.
In the Juniors the new LWA Young Windsurfer of the Year Andrew Robinson was engaged in a tussle with Conor Wells and Jessica Plant in the Techno 7.8 class and Henry Bloodworth was enjoying himself, having moved up from 4.5 to 5.5.
It was one of those days where you had to get the shifts spot on, otherwise you were sorely punished as the wind had a nasty habit of dropping off near the windward mark. In Race Two Annette Kent was first round the mark, having taken an individual line upwind, but despite trying desperately to keep ahead of husband Rob – and giving away a whole 1 sq m of sail – she was hauled in and finished in second place ahead of Doug Starr, who seems to have discovered a whole new dimension with his Starboard Phantom. Somewhere around mark three there was a big pile-up, which resulted in Bob Ingram being pushed way down the fleet and allowed Doug Starr and Chris Gibson to slip into 3rd and 4th places.
The wind occasionally pushed the 10 knots mark in Race Three and boards were railing nicely upwind. As it was the last race of the day the Race Officer allowed it to go on for an extra lap. Rob took command fairly early on and Doug nevertheless held on to his second place, forcing Annette into third.
At the end Rob Kent was the clear winner but there were three sailors on 5 points. This tie was split in favour of Bob Ingram because of his 1st place in Race One.
In the Juniors Andrew, Conor, Henry and Jessica finished in that order in every race, making the final results an easy calculation.
We’re looking forward to the first event of the 2009 Summer Season which takes place at Bough Beech near Sevenoaks on Sat 21 March. This event usually kicks off with a bang, so we hope to see loads of LWA sailors out on the water. Possibly by then there will be some production models of the new Tushingham Race sail in the fleet, together with the latest Phantom boards and maybe, just maybe, a Mistral Equipe III to give the Raceboard fleet the feeling that staying faithful to the Class over the years has all been worthwhile.
RESULTS: (overal positions in brackets)
1st: Rob Kent (1); 2: Doug Starr (3); 3: Annette Kent (also 1st Lady) (4)
1st: Bob Ingram (2); 2: Nick Kidd (5); 3: Paul Robinson (8)
1st: Andrew Robinson (15); 2: Conor Wells (16); 3: Jessica Plant (18)
1st: Henry Bloodworth (17)
Photo courtesy of Andy Watkinson