Lightnings368 at Up River YC Winter Series 2012

LN winter series Up river

With the onset of winter the serious sailing started with the Winter Series at Up River YC. In total 6 Lightning’s would contest the series and one would come out on top, but who?

Well in race 1 it was Matt Hopkins who started where he left off at the Inlands and stormed away from the line and was never headed to win the first race ahead of the Streaker sailed by local boat builder Gerry Ledger and Penny Yarwood in the second Lightning. After Lunch it was Penny’s turn to show everyone a clean pair of heels and although Matt chased her on the water the handicap demoted him below Gerry’s Streaker and Michael Ettershank’s Comet. The author was in the safety boat banking some average points for later.

Race weekend 2 and the wind gods had arrived blowing straight up and down the river. Simon Hopkins led initially but was soon passed by Matt on the run who extended to take his second race of the series. Behind Simon the only other finishers were Andy Dale in his Comet Duo and Ex National Champion Ian Gore making a guest appearance in the club Lightning. This time is was Penny watching from the safety boat. As the wind increased during lunch the OOD abandoned racing for the day much to Matt’s displeasure.

Race weekend 3 and all change on the wind front with barely enough to move all day. Simon & Matt decided they had better things to do and left Gerry in the Streaker take the win ahead of Ian and Penny. Only one race was sailed as the wind was so pathetic.

Race weekend 4 and normal wind for a change that gave Gerry chance to add to his tally of wins in the first race ahead of Matt, Andy and Michael in the Comets. Race 2 and in the dying breeze Andy in the Comet took the win ahead of Gerry, Matt and Simon. So going into the final weekend it was Gerry with a one point lead over Matt for the series win.

Final race weekend and Matt went for a repeat of race 1 and led from start to finish ahead of Andy in the Comet and Simon, leaving Gerry with a 4th place. This now meant Matt led Gerry by one point and a last race finale. However it was Andy in the Comet who led for most of the race hotly pursued by Matt and Simon. In the fading wind Gerry was struggling and then the wind went completely to leave all boats to finish drifting downriver on the tide. The theory in the bar after was that Simon’s unfair weight advantage made his boat lower in the water so he drifted quicker; but whatever it was it was enough to drift through from 3rd to take the win ahead of Andy and Matt. With Gerry a distant 6th Matt took the series by one point.

Simon Hopkins