Ospreys came to the class’s Northern stronghold, Kielder Water SC, for three days of good sailing from 9 to 11 September. Friday 9th was a practice day, for sail testing and boat bimbling, before the five race Championship started on Saturday 10th. The event sponsor was the Pennine Brewing Co.
The local fleet had just had a new addition, with Graham Thumwood having bought a Mark IV Osprey just days before the Championship, while the visit of the latest Mark V Osprey added to the intrigue. How fast would it be? In addition to Graham Thumwood’s boat having come all the way from the South coast, Alex and Nick Willis from Hayling Island brought another visiting boat from far afield, bolstering the Scottish & Northern fleet.
Saturday brought light shifty winds, and Alan Henderson and Alastair Barrie from Prestwick took a pair of wins, with Rob Shaw and Ian Little from Kielder claiming the second race. These two boats were pushed hard by Alastair Reynard and Rob Burdekin, from Carsington, showing their new Mark V to be very competitive.
Sunday brought bigger winds from the South, and other boats struck form, especially two of the class’s lady helms. Shaw and Little led the first race initially but Alexandra and Nick Willis took over to win, while Shaw in second place was pushed hard by Viola and Mike Scott in third. In race 5 this time Shaw was overtaken by Viola Scott, but the excitement of gaining the lead proved too much and the Scotts capsized. Shaw gratefully accepted the lead, but was again pushed hard by the Willis’s. Shaw and Little held on to take their second win of the event, and to clinch the Championship. Henderson and Barrie took second overall, with Reynard and Burdekin third. A great second day propelled Alexandra Willis into fourth overall, and first lady.
Reynard and Burdekin’s Mark V was universally admired, and not just by Osprey sailors, so with the gearing up of production rate over the winter, the class is looking forward to an exciting 2017.
Racing in the eight boat fleet was very close, and all competitors, whether in Marks III, IV or V, enjoyed spells at or near the front at some point in the weekend.
This event was also part of the class’s national series, and the final event of that series will be the Welsh & Midlands Championship at Rutland on October 22/23. Welsh Osprey sailors also have events at Portishead on Sept 24, and Tata on October 1/ 2 to look forward to, as part of the South Wales circuit.
1. Rob Shaw and Ian Little, Kielder Water SC, 6 pts. Mark IV
2. Alan Henderson and Alastair Barrie, Prestwick SC, 10 pts. Mark IV
3. Alastair Reynard and Rob Burdekin, Carsington SC, 11 pts. Mark V
4. Alex and Nick Willis, Hayling Island SC, 14 pts. Mark III.
Full results on Sailwave at http://sailwave.com/results/kwsc/2016_September_Open_Ospreys.htm