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Home / News / Womens Open Keelboat Championships 2019 - Race Report
Home / News / Womens Open Keelboat Championships 2019 - Race Report

Womens Open Keelboat Championships 2019 - Race Report

Published 15:01 on 10 Jun 2019

The Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship 2019

The eleventh Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship was held in the Solent on 1st & 2nd June 2019. Hosted for the 6th year by the Hamble River Sailing Club, in its Centenary Year, the event attracted record numbers once again. Twenty four teams contested this year's Dubarry WOKC in three classes, IRC 1, IRC 2 and RS 21.

The Friday evening briefing included a presentation by Vicky Ellis on the Magenta Project, now one of the event charities, a weather forecast by Libby Greenhalgh and RO Kathy Smalley explaining the on water expectations for the five race series. Libby, with a rather red face and white Panda eyes, warned everyone about the dangers of not using sun screen whilst sailing, before giving wind information for the two days.

The predicted SE breeze met the crews for Race 1 as they gathered at Royal Southern Buoy for the first start. Class 1 were dispatched to Fastnet Insurance, followed by Class 2 who headed for Hamble Yacht Services. Finally the RS 21 fleet headed off in the same direction. Mrs Freckles, Corby 33, Lena Having was first in Class 1, saving her time against the bigger R&W, J122, Jo Quigley and Journey Maker 11, J111, Louise Makin. In Class 2, HRSC's own Sophie Chudziak brought M'Enfin!?, Corby 25 home in first place from Brenda's, J92s, Becky Walford in second and J'ronimo, J92, Libby Greenhalgh in third. There was then a short delay whilst the Race Team looked for the RS 21's. These five boats had been chartered for the event from RS and the crews were so busy working out how they worked, that they failed to find the quickest way round the course. "They are a very friendly Class" said RO Kathy Smalley "When one goes the wrong way they all go the wrong way!"Eventually, Victoria Tomlinson brought the RORC Youth Team home first, with Laura Dillon and the RORC Roedean Team (slightly older) in second and Lynn Billowes, GBR6, in third.

The expected lull in the SE breeze, whilst the SW sea breeze kicked in, failed to materialise, so, the CB Mist remained on station. Class 1 headed off to Hamble Yacht Services as the windward mark. The RO very kindly sent the RS 21's to the same mark on the next start so that they could follow the 12 big boats. This time Journey Maker 11, helmed by Susie Moore, and a previous winner, came home first in Class 1 with Night Owl 11, Mat 12, Julie Fawcett, second and R&W in third place. Here were three regular WOKC competitors establishing their credentials. J'ronimo, helmed by Helen Draper, won Class 2 from Reflection, First 31.7, Lucy Burn and M'Enfin!?. The RS 21's were quick learners and finished in good time. Alexis Ernst, GBR2, came in first with RORC Roedean second and RORC Youth Team third.

Race 3, with the breeze building to 15 knots, was notable for the aggressive starting tactics of Class 1. They had clearly not taken the advice of Libby Greenhalgh to buy a Solent tide book and neither had they noticed that the CB had swung round. This led to two of the clearest General Recalls ever witnessed. Kathy Smalley immediately sent them to the back of the queue and promised them a Black Flag start. The RS 21's then showed them how it should be done with a well-controlled line abreast start. Class 2 also got away well and with the Black Flag flying; Class 1 just about avoided another recall. Laura Dillon, who has won this event on previous occasions, brought RORC Roedean home first in the RS 21's followed by the RORC Youth Team and GBR1 Jennifer Toettcher. In Class 2, J'ronimo was getting in the groove with another bullet. Brenda's came second and Reflection was third. In Class 1, Journey Maker 11 and R&W were tied in first on handicap with The Sirens on Olympia's Tigress, First 40, Susan Glenny, third.

Day two dawned with the promised front and SW building breeze arriving on time. The start was half an hour earlier than day one, which, following the Saturday night party, made things challenging to say the least. When Class 1 arrived at the windward mark it was reported that Night Owl 11's hoist could be best timed with a Calendar rather than a Stop Watch. To be fair they had bounced to the DJ's selection more than most the previous night. At the leeward mark things got worse for the big black spinnaker. A classic trawl on the drop left them with no option but to retire from the race. It has to be said however, that their recovery of the kite, showed great teamwork and was expertly carried out. The RS 21's arrived at the leeward mark just as a 20 knot gust hit. Three of them proceeded to lie down on the water and Emily Robinson later said "I thought we were going to die!" She need not have worried as they all popped up and finished the race. GBR6 won from RORC Roedean and GBR2. J'ronimo tightened her grip on Class 2 with another win and Journey Maker 11 did the same in the disgraced Class 1. Jolly Jack Tar, J109, Alex Pickles and the Royal Navy Sailing Team had their best result in second place.

The conditions moderated to 14/15 knots for the final race and the promised rain was absent apart from a few spots up the course. The overall podium places were now largely reflected in the Race 5 results. Journey Maker 11 scored another first to win overall with R&W second and Jolly Jack Tar third. Class 2 saw J'ronimo first and first overall with Brenda's and Reflection second and third. Laura Dillon scored another bullet with the RORC Roedean Team in the RS 21's to win by 2 points from the RORC Youth Team. GBR 6 was third.

Back in the HRSC Clubhouse the fabulous Dubarry prizes were present to the winners. The overall Dubarry Yacht of Championship went to Journey Maker 11, Louise Makin. Night Owl 11 was given a spirit of the event award for their spinnaker adventures and dancing prowess. Over £1200 was raised for the three charities – The Magenta Project, Breast Cancer Care and the Hamble Lifeboat. Five people from the RYA 2024 Project were present at the event. This initiative gives young people the chance to be involved in Race Management.

Full Results:

Trevor Pountain

Last updated 15:01 on 10 June 2019

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