Hurricane 5.9 & SX Open at Stone Sailing Club
A total of seven visitor boats joined the six home teams making Stone the highest attended meeting of the season so far. Potentially there were seven boats in the running for the title but in the end it was dominated by a local team.
By this point a significant number of new faces were starting to appear in the fleet, Chelsea Furber now in her second year in the Hurricane, Johnny Van Ingen now sailing with season campaigner Geoff Tindal, Eddie Smith sailing with Pete Sherwin and Arthur Brooks sailing with class chairman Andy Bedford. All these newcomers are a welcome addition to the fleet.
Saturday dawned and with the start time of Midday pushed back until 2pm to allow the wind to fill in, all 13 boats launched. The light winds and a strong running tide meant that this was always going to be a tricky one to master. Straight out of blocks was the local pairing of Jack Tindale and Hugo Bull, neither are strangers to Hurricane sailing but this is the first season they have sailed together. They took the first two races in style. In their wake was the current National Champion John Ready, who posted a 2nd and 4th sailing with Henry Seifert.
Other local boats crewed by brothers Richard and Chris Hanmore took 4th and 2nd respectively, while Trevor and Kevin Bawden posted two 3rds. The third and final race of the day turned out to be somewhat of a lottery, with the wind failing fast against the ebb tide. Tindle/Bull and Ready/Seifert had had enough by this point and retired, leaving the Hanmores to take the win from Lloyd and Amanda Turner, with John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber taking third place.
Sunday brought stronger winds. The course was again set across the tide but starting was still challenging. Tindale / Bull revelled in the conditions, taking bullets in all three races even when gusts came through the fleet, claiming victims including Ready / Seifert who was only able to post one 2nd before retiring. The Hanmores, meanwhile, finished all three races posting 6th, 4th and 3rd while the Bawdens posted 4th 3rd and 2nd. Retirements brought on by the increasing winds meant that by the last race only six boats were left.
The overall victory was claimed by Jack Tindale and Hugo Bull, with wins in 5 out of the 6 races. Second were the Hanmores on equal points with the Bawdens, with the Hanmores snatching 2nd place on count back. Bawdens were therefore 3rd with Tuckwell and Furber the first of the visiting boats in fourth place.
Stone Open Meeting is always a classic on the Hurricane circuit. It was made just as welcoming this year with fleet captain Geoff Tindal and wife Jan opening up their home for post-race drinks for the fleet.
Thanks as always goes to the club for their race management and hospitality and to the class sponsors, Typhoon, Andark and Insurance 4 Dinghies by Towergate Marine.
The next event is Starcross in Devon which all allow the fleet some last minute practise and coaching before the Nationals at Harwich in August. With this result by Tindale and Bull the fleet is charged and the race for the title open to anyone.