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Champagne Sailing at the Rutland Cat Open

Over the weekend of 20th and 21st of May Rutland Water sc hosted the A class Fleet as part of their 2023 Cat Open.


Five A class sailors entered the event and were greeted with Fantastic Champagne conditions warm and sunny with 10-15 knots with some big gusts of over 22knots blowing down the lake from the dam end.


The A class Fleet and the F18 Fleet shared the second start and the race officer set a long upwind down wind course.


Race 1

The starting horn sounded and the A Fleet were off ! All of us chose to go off on starboard and fly over to the far shore tack, then head over towards the church. Gordon Upton the local A class legend was going well, decided to tack and unfortunately did not unhook his trapeze line combined with a big gust had him swimming. Hugh,Neil and Mark carried on after showing concern for Gordon. On the second beat Mark decided to go a different way up the beat than Hugh and Neil however this did not pay off and Hugh and Neil pulled away. So race one was won by Hugh (honery GWSC member) second place Neil GWSC , Third Mark GWSC, Gordon DNF and Anthony DNS as he had gear failure before the start and retired.


Race Two

The race started and the Four A class sailor again speed off towards the left side of the course Hugh was first to tack and Neil and Mark carried on towards the shore, as we approached the bank we got a great lift and gained loads of height tacked and this put us on a course to put Hugh into third place going up the first beat. Neil rounded first ahead of Hugh, Mark and Gordon however that was as good as it got for Neil as Mark and Hugh both passed him down the run and the order of finish was Hugh, Mark, Neil. Gordon completed the first 2 laps but then decided to call it aday as his capsize had taken a lot out of him in the first race.


Race Three

By this time the temperature had dropped and with the strength of the wind and spray it was getting cold despite the lovely sunshine. However our Three Grafham sailors again showed their sailing skills amongst the combined Fleet with the F18s and completed the Third race with Hugh First, Mark second and Neil Third.


Coming In I must thank both Hugh and Mark for helping me get my boat ashore and for looking after me as by this time I was not feeling great due to my medical condition and side affects of medication my hands were white with no feeling and I was shaking and breathing very heavily. Thank you both for your help and concern.


Day two


Again we were met with the same Champagne conditions the only thing that would of made it better would of been another 5 or so A class sailors to share the experience.


Race four and five

All ended with the same result with Hugh in first place Mark in second followed by Neil then Gordon. Neil and Mark had a battle for the first couple of laps with positions changing however Mark pulled away and finished well ahead by the end.


Race six

Only Mark and Neil stayed out for the final race as Hugh had won the TT and Gordon was happy with his day's sailing. Mark sailed well and won the last race and underlined that his new boat a Tool that he bought from Steve Pooley has loads of boat speed and he will be giving Hugh a run for his money in the future.


Overall Result


First Hugh Mcgregar GWSC

Second Mark Rushton GWSC

Third Neil Klabe GWSC

Fourth Gordon Upton Rutiand SC


Everyone had a Great time at Rutland and would like to thank the race officer and safety team for all their hard work.


Hope to see everyone at the Nationals .


Neil Klabe


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