Noble Marine - 2017 Scammonden Open
Race report from Phil Davies:
Scammonden welcomed 8 visitors for the Noble Marine Supernova travellers event. Some were local, others from as far as Blackpool & Fleetwood, Haversham and Exe plus visitors from Attenborough, Beaver, Bolton and Elton. With 5 home boats, the fleet of 13 had three interesting races in bright sunny and, due to the vagaries of the wind, quite challenging conditions.
The first race was sailed in light winds, with some medium strength gusts and some windless patches. These conditions are normal at Scammonden when the wind is in the west, due to a hill on the west bank causing eddies and vortices. Local sailors Steve Yates and Phil Davies had good starts and were leading round the windward mark, soon to be joined by Paul Earnshaw (Haversham), Ian Wilson (Blackpool & Fleetwood), Alistair Glen (Exe) and Ian Moodie (Bolton). These boats swapped places constantly from then on as the wind favoured one or other helmsman throughout the race. At the end of lap 3 Yates crossed the line first, thinking he had won after hearing a shorten course sound signal - which turned out to be a mistake. Somewhat distracted he got into irons at the windward mark, allowing the chasing pack to catch up. On the final beat Glen managed to pull away from Earnshaw with Moodie moving up to third.
After a hearty lunch race 2 got under way in similar wind conditions to the morning race, but with the gusts slightly stronger. The same names again featured in the leading bunch. Glen featured strongly until a brief swim on lap 2 dropped him down the field. The whole fleet came together as the wind died on lap 4 and the final beat was a shoot out with Wilson crossing the line first, followed by Moodie and Earnshaw.
By the start of the final race the average wind speed had increased to Force4 with some severe omni-directional gusts which caught out a number of sailors. The conditions suited Wilson and Glen - each with a win to their credit at this stage - and they soon drew away from the field. Earnshaw was third on his own and with Moodie and Davies battling for fourth until the latter capsized to windward in a freak lull. On the last beat Wilson failed to cover Glen, who took line honours with Wilson second and Earnshaw third.
The overall result was also Glen, Wilson, Earnshaw, with Moodie just missing out. Scammonden boats occupied positions 5 to 8.