Otters in the Chocolates at Parkstone

»«2nd and 3rd April 2011

The Cadet fleet re-convened at Parkstone in Poole over the 2nd and 3rd April, for the first event of the year. This was also the 1st of three indicators for the selection of the British team to represent team GB in Germany later this year, so the pressure was on.

Saturday dawned a sunny day with a building breeze that settled and remained at around about 10 kts giving near perfect conditions. The first start of the day was under a Black Flag and although a general recall ensued four of the fancied boats were identified and thus had to sit out the race.

The second start was successful in which Sam & Ben Barr (9027 Whatever) hit the track running, returning their best ever result in a ranking event with a 4th, just being beaten on the line for third by eventual winners Matt & Ben Shorrock from Frensham Pond. Nick Sutton & Harriett Sexton (8844 Nasty Tern) weren’t far behind opening their account with a 7th, Loni Lilienthal & Lucy Offord (8381 Satisfaction) 17th and Jack Shorter & Sean Scarbrook (8435 Blue Moon) 50th.

Race 2 started with no incident and everyone got away. Anticipation was rife as the spectators waited to see whose spinnaker would pop first at the windward mark; one spectator was particularly excited to see the white and blue of Whatever round first. The Barrs could not maintain this position however but still carded a very respectable 7th, Nick slipped to 18th, Loni to 30th and Jack, who is still adjusting to a new boat, finished 50th.

The 3rd race also got away without incident. Sam & Ben finished in 13th, Nick & Harriett 22nd, Loni & Lucy 36th and Jack & Sean 45th. Overnight this left Sam & Ben 4th, Nick & Harriett 11th , Loni & Lucy 25th , and Jack & Sean 50th.

Day Two arrived windless and after being towed to the race area, the boats drifted about for a couple of hours with the customary calls of "ABANDON!" ringing out. Eventually the wind filled in from the south and whilst not as strong as Saturday there was plenty to race in. The delay however meant that the chances of completing three races was doubtful.

Race 4 was started under the Blue Peter and the fleet got away first time. With the possibility of a shortened series, it was important that the good work of Saturday was continued and this was the case with Nick & Harriett returning their best result of the series in 6th, Sam & Ben in 7th, Loni & Lucy in 19th and Jack & Sean finishing in 49th. The 5th and what proved to be the last race of the series started in a failing and fluky wind, which caught many out at the start, not least our guys.

However with the Race Officer sending the fleet home, the series was over and after the discard had kicked in the final standings left Jack amp; Sean in 54th, Loni & Lucy 29th, Nick & Harriett 13th and Sam & Ben with an excellent 6th overall.

Joe Barr & Jake Terry (8370 Attitude) competed in the Bronze Feet of 6, which is for inexperienced 1st year helms; they returned with a very respectable series to finish 3rd overall.

Let us hope the guys can do even better at next week’s Inlands & 2nd Indicator at Grafham.

Matthew Barr