The 2010 Maidenhead Sailing Club Albacore Open got under way on Saturday 10th April with a training day being run by Will Gulliver and Andy Elliott. The day started with clear skies and very light winds but soon filled in to provide ideal conditions for all. The sessions were instructive with feedback and guidance being provided both on and off the water.
Sunday 11th was the day for the Open and was greeted by bright sunshine, and a steady (by Maidenhead standards) force 3 from the North East.
18 boats came to the line and a clean start got the fleet away for the first race with Judy and Paul Armstrong taking an early lead, followed closely by local team of Phil Tindall & Roy Box, and then John Woffinden crewed by Hugh Cherkas. The front three maintained this order for the whole race whilst the middle of the fleet had some very good, close racing with some large gains and losses.
After a lunch in the spring sunshine, the afternoon saw 2 races being run back-to-back. The wind had increased slightly giving good racing conditions. After a general recall at the first attempt, many of the fleet were shy of the line at the next start and there were three new names on the leader board at the windward mark. First round was Neville Herbert crewed by Mark Fowler, followed by Kevin Clark and Kathryn Hayfield and then Eddie and Jane Brooks. Judy and Paul made a steady recovery climbing through the fleet to finish in second place, with Eddie and Jane holding on to third. Again some close racing in the middle of the fleet saw places 4 to 11 changing throughout the race.
With one win apiece, Neville and Judy duly reached the first mark of the third race in first and second position, clearly showing their will to win, closely followed by John Woffinden in third place. Neville led for most of the race, and although Judy did briefly get ahead on the last lap, Neville went on to take line honours and win the event with two first places. The overall results for the first three places matched the final race with Judy and Paul second and John and Hugh in third place. Eddie and Jane took the silver fleet trophy for older boats with a very creditable 5th place overall.
A very enjoyable day for all 18 crews, reflecting the success of last years event and the growing number of active sailors in the class. We look forward to a successful series of Albacore events during the summer.