Nottingham SC Albacores 18/09/2016
This year’s Albacore Open at Nottingham was preceded on the Saturday by an informal tuning and rigging session led by Judy and Paul Armstrong, who cheerfully ignored spider webs, green slimy string and rusty seized fittings to measure, tweak, re-string and generally give the once-over to many of our boats. The afternoon Club race was followed by a couple of drinks, which provided plenty of scope to deplore the weather forecast for the Sunday.
On the day however the sun shone from start to finish and the wind blew, very gently and fitfully on occasion, but enough to keep a fleet of 16 boats racing. Our visitors were given bacon rolls to keep them quiet while Race Officer Simon Limb and his team used a brief postponement to place the up and downstream marks to make the best of the conditions.
Race 1 saw Judy and Paul Armstrong disappear upstream hotly pursued by Tim Coleman and daughter Jo Sankey, and Amanda and Craig Hamilton, while the rest of us followed sedately in their wake. Plenty of close sailing and place changes saw Mike McNamara and local lad Richard Nurse being pipped to the upstream mark by Clive Gimson and last-minute crew Paul Markwick.
Roger Poat and Michael Brookman, Dave Whittle and Grace (his niece from Australia), Chris Abbott with Club youngster Tom Fletcher, and Steve Bailey with regular crew Gosia all battled it out and got in each other’s way brilliantly. After the first lap the leading positions remained unchanged. Judy and Paul’s lead proved unassailable and they extended it in the second lap to win comfortably from Tim Coleman and Craig Hamilton.
R1 - first lap (Photo courtesy of Ken Hemsell)
After a light curry lunch and ice creams Race 2 got underway in a steadier and stronger breeze. Another eventful race with constant place changing throughout, Judy and Paul gradually extended an early lead to finish first ahead of Craig and Amanda. Mike Mac narrowly won his race-long fight with Roger Poat to finish third. Steve and Gosia held on to finish fifth, just in front of Tim and Jo. Chris and Tom turned in another creditable performance in the floating antique A195 to finish eighth, a short way behind Dave and Grace.
R2 - start (photo courtesy of Pete Staples)
A quick tea break was just long enough for the unreliable breeze to turn fickle, and so Race 3 got off to a slow start with Tim Coleman and Craig Hamilton leading. As the breeze came and went the positions again changed constantly, and the fleet became split in two. The Armstrongs eventually recovered from an indifferent start to gain the lead, and were no doubt quite relieved when the Race Officers very sensibly finished the race at two laps.
R3 – The Armstrongs strike back (photo courtesy of Ken Hemsell)
Racing was followed by the traditional tea cakes and drinks, and prizes were awarded by Commodore Ivan Horrocks to the six leading crews. Visitors were thanked for coming along, as were the catering racing and generally helping teams.
We were pleased with the turn-out of nine visitors and seven home boats, some of the latter encouraged out by Judy and Paul’s very welcome Saturday tweak and the gentle forecast. Maybe next year we will get the same lovely sunshine but a lovely breeze to go with it . . .
The day’s full results can be seen on the Club racing results:
All Ken’s photos can be seen on The Nottingham Sailing Club Facebook page.
The next scheduled Albacore event will be the Northern Championships at Winsford Flash on 1st – 2nd October