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08/03/2020
Season Opener - Frensham Frenzy

    Frensham Frenzy held on 8 March 2020

    The RS100 bit

    So how does a 100 sailor win the Frensham Pond Frensham Frenzy on a windy day? Apparently the answer is to sail your Laser Radial. Well done to Ian Gregory - see below for details.

    Nevertheless, three 100s braved the forecast of a blustery day and challenging sailing it proved. Huw Powell slipped from his normal standard of faultless tactics as soon as he arrived, by trying to rig in the muddy car park, rather than loading everything on to the boat and rolling to the concrete paths to remove covers then rig-up. That sort of set the tone for his day unfortunately.

    Huw also got a bit confused about the start process in race one (as did many others, see below). Clive, sportingly calling out the error then, distracted, ended up with a worse start than try-again Huw. Hence, both were outdone off the lineby Andy Turner .

    However, the Pond does appear to provide a decent home advantage and Clive led the 100s at the first mark, got a gust and blasted off, never really to be seen again. This despite falling in 3 times; the first on a drop, the second caught out by a mega gust just as the kite filled on a hoist and the third, in exactly the same place a lap later, in an even bigger gust with a spectacular pitchpole that was also worthy of a prize. Huw had a less eventful race, finishing mid-fleet compared to Clive’s 10th of 30. Andy decided to earn himself a prize in Race 1 by scooping up a mark in the process of righting from a capsize - earning a bottle of wine for most bizarre moment of the day. (Sorry for mentioning that Andy)

    At the start of Race 2, a giggling Huw squeezed out a laughing Clive at the Committee Boat (we do have a great spirit in the 100s) and arrived at the first mark just behind a Phantom and with Clive on his transom. All three arrived at the next gybe mark abreast to the accompaniment of another huge gust. Simon in the Phantom and Huw nailed the gybe. Your correspondent, on the outside, didn’t. Doh! Unfortunately, Huw then fell in at the drop and impaled his mast in the mud which took frustrating long to sort, letting Clive past again. The rest of Race 2 was less eventful (or I was so knackered and weather-beaten my memory shut down. Yes, probably the latter). From then on, Clive kept the stick pointing up, getting up to sixth and only 40 yards or so from Ian, the race winner, at the end. So, an expensive capsize. If only, if only, if only.

     I think the consensus was its quite hard work hoisting and dropping the kite 12-15 times and making 30+ mark-roundings per race. Good boat-handling practice to boot, with not even the local immune from being caught out here and there. Oi, no cat-calling at the back; come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

    Thanks to Huw and Andy for coming. I think the forecast put off a couple of others, but we had an eventful, exhausting and fun day I’d say.

     

     And a bit about the rest

    After another blustery winter, the Frensham Frenzy again lived up to its name in 2020. The 18 gusting 25 knot SW was a calm day compared to recent weekends, but allied to the occasional bright sunny spells, black clouds and vicious rain squalls (or was it hail for a while?) we certainly had some frenzied weather.

    The Frenzy comprises 2 pursuit races. PRO Andy Shorrock used the briefing to explain, more than once, how a number display on the back of the committee boat would show the time/number of the upcoming start-whistle. Hence, if your PY gave you a start time of plus 20 minutes, the 60-seconds leading up to your start would show 20. Simples! Any questions? Only those to clarify this point.

    Now, as Arthur Dent said in the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy “It's times like these I wish I’d listened to what my mother told me?” “Why, what did she say?” “I don’t know, I wasn't listening…”

    And sure enough, some were not listening. In the first race the 2.4s decided to be generous and start a minute late. But more expensively the two Fevas elected to go a minute early, resulting in an OCS. This was particularly disastrous for last year’s winner Tom Ahlheid, this year crewed Finlay Lomas-Clarke, because the two were absolutely flying around the pond, building a lead far in excess of that one-minute pinched when they started.

    However, top sailors rise to a challenge and FPSC Sailing Sec Ian Gregory, sailing his Laser (or is it an ILCA? Or something else again this week?) Radial to great effect, nevertheless ground the lads down, catching them just before the finish. In doing so, he also kept behind Peter Barton in his Aero 7, Katrina Gilbert/Jenny Rust in a RS200 (who both then disappeared off to play hockey in the afternoon. Tut-tut) and Megan Ferguson/Ben Harris in a 420. It was good to see four Larks on the pond with the next two places taken by Steve Cumley/Eluned Stewart followed by Nigel Hufton/Pete Nicholson. A shout out here also goes to Sarah Cockerill, for (literally?) hanging in there for a seriously windy race in a RS400 with non-functioning jib-sheet cleats. “Do you know a decent chandler?” I asked. We’ll skip the response, I think. Unsurprisingly, Steve was more in evidence with head in boat and screwdriver in hand than in the clubhouse at lunchtime though...

    After a good lunch (for everyone else) in a buzzing atmosphere, it was time to don many more clothing layers and go again. This time, the Fevas had actually worked out the starting instructions. After a lap or so Tom and Finlay got past father and son Richard and Tristan Harding in the other Feva and again shot off into a substantial lead, this time never to be caught.

    Meantime, Ian was having his work cut out for ascendancy in the Radials, with much inter-changing of places between him and Charlotte Videlo (now returned from a blown off qualifier at Weymouth) before both were overhauled by Peter in the Aero. Again rising to a challenge, Ian ultimately worked his way ahead of Charlotte at the finish. Next, Nigel and Pete this time came out on top of the Larks with your correspondent Clive Eplett in his if-only-the-*****-stick-would-stay-pointing-upwards-RS100 coming between them and Steve/Eluned .

    All this meant Ian Gregory (despite a capsize on a 50 degree-header-gust in race 2; perhaps he is human after all) came out as winner of the 2020 Frensham Frenzy on equal points to Peter Barton but winning on count-back. Nigel/Pete and Steve/Eluned were third and fourth respectively, Megan/Ben fifth and somehow Clive sixth after a hard day battling, or more likely just providing (spectacular? comedic?) entertainment to Simon Bond, seventh in a Phantom.

    As some compensation, Tom and Finlay were first 15-and-under youths and Megan/Ben over-15 youth winners. Special mention also to for Tom Flintham as first Great Grand Master.

    Thanks go to Andy Shorrock for running two great races and all support crews braving the weather. They were busy at times.

    Next year’s will again be the Sunday after the Dinghy Show, so please put 7th March 2021 in your diaries.

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