Over the last week many of the Osprey fleet have had a close eye on Windguru ahead of the Poole Open.

Over the last week many of the Osprey fleet have had a close eye on Windguru ahead of the Poole Open. It had been windy all week and particularly on Thursday night when some of the local Ospreys had been out club racing when they were hit by 40 knot gusts which left the entire fleet swimming apart from Pete Frith and Martin Cooney who took down their main and cunningly sheltered behind the Condor ferry. The wind gods spotted the fact that they hadn't had a swim but as you can see from the picture they didn't escape so easily on Saturday! I feel a caption competition coming on! Saturday morning dawned and the 20 strong fleet awoke to see it was going to be a day for the big lads. Mike Pickering was up at 4am pacing around his room looking at every weather forecast he could find. We were staying at the wonderful Watkins sailing lodge, which is the best accommodation in Poole. It has 6 landladies and a resident doctor who is always on hand to help with any sailing injuries or general ailments. An extra banana and a croissant were added to the normal light weights breakfast of an apple and a glass of water and we were all set to do battle out in Poole Harbour. The drama began before a single flag was raised on the committee boat. Mike Pickering and Mike Priddle had gone out early to test the conditions and broke a shroud but luckily didn't loose the mast. This proved to be terminal for the 2 Mikes as they had to return to base missing both races on Saturday. The Anna Watkins (landlady No 5) had commented to the Mikes, before the race, that having shrouds made from string didn't seem like a very good idea! Race one had Cooney and Frith at the windward mark first closely followed by Will and George Odling. Cooney and Frith went in just past the windward mark (picture to prove that even the best swim sometimes). The Odling went for the kite and swam as well, which lead to an exploding mast foot and a return to shore and sadly back on the road trailer and home. Andy Barker and Mike Atkinson took the lead closely followed by Paddy Lewis and Pete Greig. On the second reaching leg Barker and Atkinson broke the adjustment rope on the trapeze, splash went Mike followed by a 100 yard swim back to Barker on the upturned Barking Mad. Lewis and Greig went to to win but not without a certain amount of pressure from Cooney and Frith who had recovered their composure to get back within spitting distance only to swim a second time down the last run as they gybed eventually finishing 3rd with Francis and Male in 1296 2nd at their first open meeting in an Osprey.....ones to watch in the future, welcome to the class guys. Phil Angrave and Pete Smith made a welcome returned to the open circuit after a two year break but also had a breakage in race 1, which require a return to the club house. Despite the Watkins girls rushing around to help them get the tiller extension fixed they didn't make it back to the race course in time for second start but they chased the fleet down showing some of the old magic. We are looking forward to seeing them at the nationals hopefully. Loving the new look Phil with a flowing locks! Race 2 was just as breezy with nearly half the fleet returning to the beach. Cooney and Frith battled it out with Lewis and Greig eventually getting the better of them to take 1st. After a very wet and windy night the wind had dropped a little and repairs had been done meaning a return of the Mikes and others but sadly in vein for the series with only two races being sailed on Sunday and only one discard available. Less wind was a welcome relief for most and both races had more boats vying for the top 5 or 6 places. Russ Wheeler and Mark Mawhinney found themselves at windward mark in the top 3 in both races and hung in well giving them two good results to leave them 6th overall. Mark commented to Russ at the prize giving that he thought his bank manager would be delighted with the prize of a couple of bottles of wine to show for the line of credit he had given him to buy his new boat. Russ had of course promised his bank manager that the new boat would more than pay for itself within the first two years with all the extra prize money that would flow his way! Cooney and Frith took both races on Sunday to win the event, which is the first time they have won it since 2004, which just goes to show that home water at Poole isn't a factor. Lewis and Greig took 2nd in the first race just ahead of Alan Laing and Steve Brown and in the last race Laing and Brown sailed the shifts well to take 2nd from Lewis and Greig. Thank you to Poole Yacht Club for a great weekend sailing. The fleet is warming up nicely for the Nationals at Parkstone on the 21st July, which will be sailed on the same water in the harbour for two of the days, with the other two out in the bay. Shoreham next weekend for a bit of wave practice hopefully. Role on July, same wind more sun with a bit of luck.

Osprey Open 2012 Results