After an ‘interesting’ day sailing at Bewl water the day prior (see report) and a lovely Heron get together at the Bircklayer’s arms on the Saturday night, the Heron competitors were in good spirits for the Chipstead open on Sunday 12th May 2019. The forecast was for 3mph winds coming from the North side of the lake with glorious sunshine, not ideal. In the end there were moderate Easterly winds (which go right down the lake, with the inevitable Chipstead shifts) which ensured that everyone had a good day’s sailing. A couple of wind lulls and some severe shifts did not put off the competitors.
There was a good turn-out with 11 competitors, 6 from Chipstead and 5 visitors: 1 from Up River Yacht Club, 1 from Bewl Valley, 1 from Welton SC, 1 from Yeadon Sailing club and 1 from West Kirkby. The event was joined up with a Graduate Open so there were plenty of boats on the water.
The experienced race officer from Chipstead set a figure of eight course, utilising the entirety of the lake providing plenty of good competition. The course remained the same throughout.
Most competitors started together with a strong start, but James Russ H10089 moved out front with Dave Butler H10350 in close pursuit. James was the first boat to the first mark and then second. The next mark was a run straight down the lake and at this point the three Herons with spinnakers quickly deployed them and Dave Butler and Mike St de Paer pulled out ahead, with Mike and Anne keeping Dave Butler under pressure. However, with a very close finish in the first race Dace Butler took the first place position and Jon and Verna Hunt in their trusty Heron number 7 took second place.
Race 2 & 3:
The winds became more variable with some short terms gusts and then some severe lulls. Such variable conditions and shifts came as a surprise to the visitors. Race 2 saw Dave Butler in first position, which meant he didn’t sail the third race which was won by Matt Picket from Up River.
In grand tradition of Chipstead Heron Opens the visitors took the top three positions. Dave Butler and his crew Emily Clixby took First Prize, Matt Pickett sailing single handed took second place and Mike de St Paer and Anne de St Paer came third.
Jon and Verna Hunt won the Elise Stern Salver for First Chipstead Boat. James Russ Heron Class Captain presented the prizes.
I would like to thank all the visitors who travelled down to Kent for weekend, it was a very good weekend sailing and apart from snow and hail, all other weather conditions were experienced.