Yapp shrugs off poor start to claim victory
The second half of Oulton Week continued to enjoy very mixed weather with light winds prevailing most of the time. The one exception was Thursday lunch time when completely out of the blue a tremendous gust swept down the Broad leaving a trail of capsized dinghies behind it. In complete contrast within an hour the afternoon keel boat classes drifted slowly round one lap of the Broad and the Squib class was cancelled.
The programme started each day with the big Mixed One Design race and David Yapp after a disastrous first race became a model of consistency in his Waveney to win the week with just ten points, nine in front of Richard Dell sailing a BOD who beat Simon Marfleet in another Waveney by just one point.
Ben Falat was also very consistent and won the week with just 8 points sailing his Streaker, just four points better than his wife Veronica who took second in her Streaker with Julian Hood third in his National 12.
The Sailability Access dinghies joined in on three days and Debbie Morton won two of them to beat Alan Harmer and Tony Barles.
Lloyd Crisp was in almost unbeatable form in the Laser class with a second on Tuesday the only blot on his run of firsts which gave him a massive fourteen point lead over Andy Bedwell with David Collecott visiting from Australia third.
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The Slow Handicap race was well supported with twenty four entrants during the week. Billy Johnson in his Oppy and George Catchpole in his RS Tera Pro each won three races and at the end were separated by just one point with Bethany Hood third in another RS Tera.
The River Cruisers also totalled twenty four boats divided into two fleets but with the results combined. Geoff Angel sailing Pippa and Richie Dugdale in Zingara were both very consistent and finished with the fourteen points, Dugdale losing out by having the worst count back. Also tied on nineteen points were Phil Davies and Mike Barnes and again Barnes took fourth by having a bad result on Thursday.
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Thirty two different dinghies took part in the midday Fast Handicap series and racing was close with only three points separating the first three, Julian Hood winning in his National 12 from Tim Riley in a Solo and Veronica Falat in her Streaker.
In the Slow Handicap Chris Pank changed from his Cruiser in which he had come fifth to win the sailing his Mirror Dinghy, just beating George Catchpole's RS Tera by two points with Jemma Smalls eight points further back in a Topper.
Simon Marfleet with three wins turned the tables on David Yapp in the Waveney class with Jack Pickering third.
Mike Collins took the first four races in the Yare and Bures only losing to Richie Dugdale in the Thursday race with Martin Broom third.
Three first places in the first three races gave Sam Cole a cracking start in the BOD class and he finished the series by winning the last race to give him a five point lead over Nick Truman who was just one point in front of Paul Carrington.
In spite of missing the last race to attend a wedding, Bryan and Jenny Riley with three firsts and a second did enough to win the Squibs from Lloyd Crisp by just one point with Richard Sullivan third.
Ben Falat repeated his morning success in the afternoon Fast Handicap race with three firsts and a second to give him a good lead over Gilly and Flip Foulds in a Wayfarer with Tim Riley third.
Pat Morling, Alan Harmer and Debbie Morton finished with four points each in the Access dinghies afternoon race and were put into that order by counting back their results.
Richard Smith borrowed Alan Cone's Laser and was so successful that he finished with a second place as his discard to finish a massive twelve points in front of Andy Bedwell and David Collecott who both ended on sixteen points.
The Slow Handicap was another tie between George Catchpole and Chris Pank, decided in George's favour with Mike Collins third in a Norfolk Dinghy.
Biggest fleet of the week was the afternoon Mixed One Designs which was won by Sam Cole sailing his BOD and even without a race win he was six points clear of Gary Fuller and Lloyd Crisp both in Squibs.
Final races of the day were for River Cruisers and Richie Dugdale and Geoff Arnold swapped places from the midday race with Dugdale being another series winner without a race win. Phil Davies repeated his third place.
A force 4 westerly breeze provided good sailing conditions at Gorleston on Sunday and 11 boats came to the start for the first race. The early leaders were Peter Johnson and Annie Smith in their Dart 18 catamaran, beating the faster Hobie Tiger cats to the first mark and, despite not using a spinnaker, managing to stay ahead of them for the whole of the first lap. Then it was the twin-trapeze RS800 dinghy sailed by Chris Sallis and Jamie Freeman who took the lead and powered ahead, beating Steve Shaw's Hobie Tiger to the finish by 14 seconds after 4 laps of the windward-leeward course. On corrected time the RS800 took the win, ahead of Richard Fryer's RS400 and Phil Highfield's RS500. The Dart 18 was the best placed catamaran in 4th place.
These results were repeated in the second race, with the RS800 ahead of the field. There were one or two capsizes, the most spectacular being that of Steve Shaw's Hobie Tiger during a gybe at the end of the second lap.
By the start of the afternoon race there were ominous black clouds overhead and the wind had picked up. Dave Abbott's Hobie Tiger suffered gear failure just after the start when a shackle broke on the boom, and two other boats retired leaving just three to complete the course. Despite a capsize, Sallis and Freeman finished first again in the RS800, 8 seconds ahead of Shaw's Hobie Tiger, and on handicap the RS800 won with Fryer's RS400 second.