Saturday 4th June dawned a beautiful day with a brisk wind and the scene was set for what was hoped to be an excellent day’s sailing at the Otters 2011 Open. Unfortunately other sailing commitments meant numbers were not as high as hoped but those who did come experienced some tough competition.
The fleet launched soon after 10:00 and sailed down river to just beyond the moorings where Race Officer Kay Tavinor had laid a triangle sausage course across the river. In what was to be the theme throughout the day the fleet got away cleanly.
The end of the first triangle saw local boys Sam & Ben Barr (9027) leading but a lapse in concentration at the leeward mark resulted in a 360 from which they did not recover. Matt & Ben Shorrock (8352 Frensham Pond), had to borrow some sailing gear due to a mishap with some car keys but a young Shorrock, powered through to take the win from Maddie Harris & Ellie Wooton (8514 Waldringfield) in 2nd place & the Barrs in 3rd.
The wind had been building all morning and it proved too much for two of the least experienced crews who called it a day after the first race. Race 2 saw fortune favouring the brave and resulted in some fantastic three sail reaching on the wing leg. Once again the on form Shorrocks took the gun from Nick Sutton & Robert Main (8844 Otters) and Emma & Joshua White (9876 Waldringfield) in 3rd. The fleet then returned to shore for a well earned break and a bowl of pasta.
During the Lunch break the wind steadily increased to well over 20 kts. With some sustained gusts of over 30 kts, the decision was taken to sail up river in the afternoon where the town would offer a little more shelter. Even so only six boats returned to the fray and it was business as usual with the Shorrocks. In spite of a couple of scares, they won both races & the event. It was nip & tuck for the minor places but Nick & Robert just managed to do enough to win 2nd place with Emma & Joshua in 3rd.