Solo Open 2023

Solo Open 2023 – Jack Holt Trophy

A steady north westerly and overcast skies greeted the 15 sailors who made the journey to Silver Wing Sailing Club on Saturday 1st April for a chance to win the Jack Holt Trophy at the annual Solo open meeting.

Race 1: A classic Silver Wing wind shift just before the start left the right end of the start line favoured and some impressive boat-a-batics kept Godfrey Clark just on the right side of the line to win the start. The lefthand end of the line was a very pleasant place to start though, nice and quiet to get one’s nose ahead in clear air. It was though a tempting trap, as once there it was impossible to head to the righthand side to get the shifts.

After the first couple of legs a leading group of 5 boats escaped the fleet and while 2-5 regularly traded places behind Godfrey who maintained his position to take the win. Closely followed by Mike Dray and Patrick Ward who seemed to have been connected by a piece of bungee the whole way round.

Race 2: after a quick shift of the windward mark the second race was under way. The committee have very thoughtfully placed the start/finish line as close to the clubhouse as possible. Thus the attendant watchers were treated to an (unnamed) local boat turn a near perfect starboard end start into a dance with the buoy, followed by a fair few circles.

This time Phil Sheppard out of the middle of the line took an early lead with the rest of the fleet acting like an accordion down the first reach behind. On the second beat local sailor David Mason hooked into a right hand shift and took the lead from Mike Dray and Sheppard which was how it stayed until the end.

Race 3: After a great lunch laid on by the hard working Silver Wing volunteer team and a major course change the fleet was back out on the water for two more races. The wind was filling in throughout the day and was much more stable in the afternoon. This time it was David Mason out of the right end of the line who lead at the first mark but then demonstrated his local knowledge by sailing round the next mark the wrong way…

The rest of the fleet was bunched up on the run. Thus their entertainment at Dave’s misfortune was tempered by some hectic five boat abreast leeward mark roundings. Godfrey Clark was the only boat however that manage to collect a penalty. Mike Dray then established a good lead which he held for a convincing win from David Mason and John Reed. The afternoon races were much closer with the fleet not splitting as it had in the morning, in fact in the third race there was barely half a leg (not far at Silver Wing) in the entire fleet.

Race 4: With the wind freshening to hiking conditions the fleet started the final race. The wind had started to back from earlier in the day, and it was becoming less obvious than the ‘just go right’ of the morning. Patrick Ward tested the race committee’s attention and found them still awake with the only OCS of the day.

Again David Mason took an early lead, however down the first run Mike Dray gybed out to the right and sneaked round into the lead and despite a late charge from Mason Dray held on to take the win and the Jack Holt Trophy for a second year!

Well done to all the sailors and a super big thank you to all the volunteers who made the day possible!