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Champagne Handicap - 14th March 2010

posted 22 Mar 2010, 11:33 by Domain Admin   [ updated 23 Mar 2010, 03:24 by Graham Morley ]
The first race of the season at Minima is often a cheerful first-day-spring affair, living up to its alternative title of the Champagne Handicap, first prize involving a bottle of bubbly.

This time, despite some sunshine in the morning the weather was greying up nicely as the race began, with a north-ish westerly-ish wind which did not seem to be reaching the 12 knots forecast. It was a short leg from the start line to the first C mark, and as is often the case on these occasions, after rounding the mark, the fleet of seven, three Enterprises, two Merlins and two Solos was tending to bunch together as we ran up the Surrey bank.

The first serious puff of the season hit us with no warning just as we approached Turks, causing a degree of pandemonium as everyone shot off in whichever direction they happened to be pointing, except for John Wilkey, whose Solo was the first capsize.

After that excitement the competitors spread out, with Ben Marshall in front, followed by Alan Jales and Dennis Lockwood, with the other two Ents followed by Mr Wilkey, damp but not discouraged. The field slowly spread out through the race, with a good breeze developing, coming together only intermittently with some close contests eventually between Dennis and Alan, and Andy Banks and John Forbes in Enterprises. Ben never quite got clean away, losing to Alan on handicap, and similarly despite a further capsize John Wilkey never lost touch with the Ents in front of him, beating them on handicap.

  1. Minnie Too (Enterprise) Alan Jales, Nick Johns
  2. Fat Marce (Merlin) Ben Marshall, Matt Allan
  3. Bow Belle (Merlin) Dennis Lockwood, Erica Bishop
John Forbes