GP OPEN 2021

Hampton SC- GP14 Open Meeting – Sunday 19th September

The ninth round of the London and South East GP14 Travellers series was held at Hampton SC on the River Thames on the 19th September. Initial expectations of a fleet of 15 soon fell short due to a mixture of an appalling forecast of light winds and heavy rain. With a light and variable WSW windy nine teams came to the start line including six from Hampton and three visiting from Frensham Pond. RO Rob Heath set a course with a long beat upstream to Platts Eyot with a long spinnaker run down to Garricks Ait returning through the line and a scheduled nine laps. Early leaders were Derek and Mary May in “Takitimu” and John and Alison Hollands in “Kraken” both from Hampton with David Innes and John Mcguinness from Frensham coming through to round the windward mark first. The long run gave ample time to test the visitor`s spinnaker work against the local tendency to rely on goosewinging to better cope with the shifts. The three leaders exchanged positions through the first two laps before being hit by some hard rain shower`s with Innes/Mcguinness taking 1st from Derek May and John Hollands who gained a dead heat for 2nd.

After drying out over an excellent lunch the second race started in very light conditions on a shortened course with the windward mark set close to a sunk motor cruiser near the Surrey bank. Innes/Mcguinness led from the line and rounded first with Derek May close behind with Paul Trubridge/Jon Denyer from Frensham and John Hollands fighting for third with Paul Trubridge coming close to threaten second at the finish. After a civilised tea the RO reduced the course further because of the light winds. John Hollands led from the off and gained a big lead which he extended throughout the race to the finish. David Innes rounded 2nd at the windward mark but Derek May came through to take 2nd with Paul Trubridge/ Jon Denyer and Kate Whyatt/Phil Mutton fighting until the finish line to finish 4th and 5th with Graham York from Hampton coming 6th.

Refreshments were laid on by the club`s excellent shore team and thanks were duly offered to Hampton SC for laying on an Open Meeting in what were challenging conditions.

The GP14 Southern Travellers now move on to the Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp on the 2nd October concluding at Frensham Pond on the 10th October. Contact David Innes on innesd142.0@yahoo.com for details.

All photos George Bell

Author- David Inne