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Report on the Chipstead Marblehead Ranking 1 Open Meeting 9th March 2024

Thank you to all the participants for turning up at Chipstead on a beautifully sunny if slightly chilly Saturday morning.

The quality of the sailors in the fleet was exceptionally high. At eight AM the lake was like a rippled with a good breeze from ESE which was forecasted to build through the morning.

The only downside was the occasional shift to a more SE direction.

Registration was open at 08:45 and competitors were keen to get sorted so they could test the water on the windward leeward course of approximately 180 meters.

The briefing took place at 09:45 adjacent to the lake. The usual topics were discussed, and racing was ready to commence at 10:05.

Darin Ballington was quick of the start line to take a small lead at the windward mark from Phil Holiday and Graham Bantock. These positions were held to the finish.

Race two saw Phil continue his sparkling form by taking first place from Barrie Martin and Graham.

Race three saw Tony Edwards come through on the final upwind leg to win from Peter Stollery and Chris Harris.

Peter kept his form to take race four from Duncan Ellis and Austin Guerrier.

Tony Guerrier was quick of the start and lead at the windward mark in race five. He was chased by Chris and Tony but managed to stay in front to the finish.

Rob Wilson found form and a great start to take race six. He was chased all the way by Graham and Chris but laid down a textbook cover up the last windward leg to the finish. In the last race before lunch, Duncan came through to win from Graham and Austin.

The weather was bright and sunny enough for numerous sailors to sit outside on the picknick tables for lunch. Hot drinks were available to those who wanted one. Results were entered and published.

The positions at lunch were as follows:

1. Graham Bantock 21pts
2. Tony Guerrier 26pts
3. Darin Ballington 29pts
4. Chris Harris 30pts
5. Peter Stollery 31pts
6. Phil Holiday 34pts
7. Tony Edwards 34pts
8. Duncan Ellis 35pts
9. Nigel Barrow 41pts
10. Austin Guerrier 41pts

Graham had sailed exceptionally well all morning to take a small lead, but the battle for places two through eight was very close.

The course was lengthened as the breeze had settled into ESE.

Race eight commenced at 13:30 and Peter was soon at the front followed by Rob who was chased by Roger Stollery.

Darin now found exceptional form chasing Chris around the course and overtaking him several times on the final leg.

Peter also got in the mix with another win, a couple of seconds and a third place. Graham whilst not as consistent as his morning had been still placed well in several races.

In the final seven races he ground out five first places whilst Chris had to settle for several second places. The final race commenced at 15:55 with ironically the best breeze of the day.

Sailors packed their boats away as a great day’s sailing came to a conclusion at 16:10. The race team packed up, race results were entered and calculated, hot drinks and cake was served in the warm cosy friendly environment of the clubhouse.

Prizes were also awarded: to the top eight boats and:
First Junior: Oliver Stollery
First Lady: Tracey Ballington

Kind words of thanks were given by Darin for the days racing.

My thanks go to my excellent race team of Mike Lightwing, Peter Crisp, Richard Jones and to Stuart Ord-Hume for his photographs, mark placing and boat recovery duties.

PRO Dave Allinson thanked all the sailors for their attendance and wished everyone a safe journey home.

Results

Darin Ballington Winner M Ranking 1 2024
Chris Harris 2nd Place M Ranking 1 2024

Summary

If you analyse the results for the top two sailors, you realise just how well both sailed to tie on overall points with Darin winning on countback. This also demonstrated the consistency from Chris throughout the day. It was exceptionally good to watch these two stars fight it out. My thanks also go out to all the sailors for their good behaviour on the water.

Dave Allinson
Chipstead SC – Radio Lead

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