01 November 2021

GP2 Event Report

Event Report - by Ellie Thomas

The 420 GP 2 was held at Itchenor over three days during the half term holidays from 25th to 27th October. All the boats were well prepared having had the opportunity to attend a training weekend leading up to the event, with the RYA youth squad at Calshot and class training at Itchenor.

After two days of awesome wind it was time to put all the new skills the boats had learnt into practise over a three day regatta, which is out of the norm of a normal racing series. 26 boats attended the event lots of which were new faces keeping the results lively.

Day 1 provided some interesting racing with a very unforgiving start. Sailing in the narrow channel with 8-11 knots forced the race officer to use a windward leeward course due to the lack of space. After a general recall and a lot of pin end movement a race got away with a handful of UFDs, mostly down to the bias of the line, most of the leading boats tacked almost immediately from the pin end and went out right to get out of the strongest tide. Henry Heathcote and Hector Bennett led at the first mark and maintained this lead throughout to win the first race of the regatta.

After a second race quite similar to the first, which was won by Megan Farrer and Ellie Rush, the sailors waited for the course to be repositioned because of a large wind shift and sat through a heavy downpour. The sun came back out for race three as Ollie and Oscar secured their first win. The overnight leaders were Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne with a 4 point lead over Henry and Hector and it was great to see the junior boat of Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne in third.

Conditions on day two were very similar with sailors still building their game plan around the tide. Having decided right was the favoured side some sailors went too far and had to be careful with the shallowness of the race area. Ollie and Oscar started to show their dominance by winning all 4 races of the day. With the wind building for the final race boats had to rethink their set up and technique, Oli Hale and Tom Clayton had an impressive race finishing second to end day 2.

After a tiring day on the water the sailors returned to the club for another themed social, this time saw the teams appear as Dynamics Duos, all the sailors made a great effort with some interesting costumes. Itchenor Sailing Club provided an evening meal and a good venue for the social that followed.

Day 3 saw stronger winds and more room for the race officer to lay a course. Race 8 started the day with a long 4 lap course which certainly woke up the sailors after enjoying the social the previous evening. Henry and Hector secured their first win of the day, with a great 2nd place result from Millie Irish and Lia Horne who had teamed up together for this event. Race 9 gave Ollie and Oscar another win with Henry and Hector closing the event with a win in race 10.

Ollie and Oscar had an interesting day with two DNFs due to technical difficulties but still managed to win the event overall and secure the Open trophy with a 9 point lead as they were able to discard these two races. Henry and Hector were second overall followed by Megan and Ellie who were third overall and first girls. Second girls were Millie and Lia after their impressive final day with Amber Hale and Bettine Harris in third girls.

The under 17 winners were Joe Warwicker and Hugo Valentine who were fourth overall. Harry and Ralph were second U17 and third U17 were Freya Sewell and Argo Braund. Mathias Potter and Ellie Thomas rounded out the top five overall.

It was great to have a three day event over half term and a huge thanks to Itchenor Sailing Club for hosting this event and the pre-event class training. Thanks also to the committee for organising a great event and the sailor reps for the social. The on water commentary was enjoyed by the parents and thanks to Jon Cawthorne for the photos.


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