With a changed format this year, five races out of eight to count, only the keen will get in the prizes. The Frensham Five was conceived to be an early spring warm up, shrugging off the winter by getting everyone up and running for the new season, and Frensham is the ideal place to check your boat speed and improve your technique on all the points of sailing.
In a light North North Westerly the starting line was hotly contested. Matt Wood and Sam Atkinson and Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young were caught over the line and had to return; leaving Nigel Hufton and Chris Whitehouse leading the way followed by Phil and Linda Whitney. There were few further place changes excepting that Chris and Kathryn managed to gradually work back through the fleet to overtake all but Nigel until the last round when Chris just managed to creep to weather of Nigel on the last reach to lead to the finish with Phil third.
With a course change, all lined up for a windward start. Chris and Kathryn managed to get to the weather mark well ahead of the others and continued to pull away to win by nine minutes. Phil and Linda led the rest of the fleet round with Nigel and Chris hot on their tail, until the first run when Nigel and Chris overtook Phil. Nigel later retired leaving Phil to finish second and Matt and Sam came through to finish third, having overtaken Bob Larder and Ollie Impey towards the end.
A reaching start saw most arrive on the line too early so boat speed was lost while waiting for the gun. Nigel Hufton and Chris Whitehouse led Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young round the leeward mark followed by Steve Chatten and Sandy Lavelle and Pat Jones. Chris had overtaken Nigel before the weather mark, however, dropped time at the mark while dancing with an RS 200! On the run Nigel found more wind having gybed first so just got inside Chris on rounding the next mark with Phil and Linda Whitney close behind. After the next beat Nigel pulled away to win the race comfortably after another two laps with Chris second and Phil third. Steve Chatten was a well deserved fourth.
With a 25 knot wind blowing from the North, resulting in some strong gusts, old sails were the name of the day, as was trying to keep upright. At the windward start there was a second gun and Chris Ellis thought it was him over and went back; in fact it was Nigel Hufton just getting to the line. This meant that Nigel and Chris Whitehouse led at the weather mark from Phil Whitney and Alex Young with Chris and Kathryn Young leading the others. Towards the end of the first round Nigel decided he liked spinnaker reaching and forgot about the leeward mark. Phil then led before being overtaken by Chris up the next beat. These positions were kept to the finish, even though Chris decided to 'anchor for tea' at buoy three; with less spinnaker work/risk taking as the race progressed. With Nigel retiring Matt Wood and Sam Atkinson's persistence paid off with a third.
Eventually everyone got themselves out of the clubhouse for the next race. No change on the wind front which meant capsizing before the start was more likely than not. Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young led Nigel Hufton and Chris Whitehouse round the weather mark. They stayed together for a while then Chris decided to go swimming on a gust rounding the leeward mark. Phil Whitney's jib came down during the race; he commented afterwards 'lucky I had a forestay', he still finished! Nigel then led to the finish and was followed by Steve Chatten and Helen with a second and Bob Larder and Ollie Impey third. Everyone agreed that getting to grips with what the helm/crew was likely to do in a blow was the learning point for the day.
This has now opened the event up with Chris and Kathryn with three wins and Nigel and Chris with two. Three to play, why not come and join us.
With snow forecast and 20 knot gusts, there weren't many boats keen to go sailing - plenty of wind-chill. In fact launching was so slow only half the fleet got to the start on time. Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young rounded the weather mark first well ahead of Bob Larder and Sam Booth with Nigel Hufton and Chris Whitehouse on their transom. Nigel then moved into second before dropping back after a swim and then caught Bob up again to finish second. Bob and Sam finishing a credible third. Chris and Kathryn had just kept going and eventually lapped the fleet to win. Others including Mark Ampleford and Helen Barry managed to also test the water temperature before retiring. Two races to go next Sunday, starting at 1220 and 1505.
Most when they turned up for the last two races weren't expecting the cold 20 knot plus cold North Easterly. However, off we went with some leaving the jetty too late for the start, as a result of asking themselves, shall we or shan't we go sailing. Can't blame them, given that it was snowing, on and off. Phil Whitney and Alex Young roared off the start followed by Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young. Chris then overtook Phil and started to pull away to win, giving him the series with five wins. Phil went on to finish with a strong second with Bob Larder and Ollie Impey finishing third, with others retiring because of either gear failure or capsizing.
Although the wind eased a little for the last race the sailing was so great most went out again. Phil and Alex again led away keen to clinch second overall, from Chris and Kathryn, with Steve Chatten and Helen Barry close astern alongside Bob Larder and Ollie Impey. Half way round the first lap Phil missed a mark which handed the lead to Chris for the rest of the race. Phil then joined Steve and Bob for a neck and neck race for two laps. Then on the long run nearing the leeward mark fighting for position, all three were hit by a gust with spinnakers flying. Phil and Steve went for a swim. Bob managed to hold on, which put him in second place. Phil unfortunately had to retire because of pole trouble. Steve then got back into gear to have a close fight to the finish, with Bob. Half a boat length gave second place to Bob who is definitely going faster.
This now takes us onto the overall results for this popular mini seris:
The first six were: