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Leader Open at Milton Keynes SC

by Jane Wharmby

6–7 October 2001

6 visitors joined the four local teams at Milton Keynes SC to compete in the last Leader open event of the summer. In strong winds, and with gusts forecast to reach 75 miles per hour on Sunday, the crews were tested to the limits with several taking a dip or two.


Race 1 saw the Wharmby’s lead the fleet to the windward mark, closely followed by Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer and Chris Morrissey and Matthew Castle. Morrissey and Castle, sailing a Leader for the first time, flew their spinnaker at the first opportunity and took the lead. Wharmby, not happy to be beaten on his home territory, regained first position on the next beat. Jane Pye, who had got into trouble early in the race, came from behind and took the lead from Wharmby at the final buoy, crossing the finish line just ahead.


Race 2 saw several boats capsize in the vicious gusts resulting in constantly changing positions. Fitzgerald and Dormer took first position, with John Parker and Sarah Cole 2nd and Jane Pye and Ian Brae 3rd.


In Race 3, Pye, Fitzgerald and new National Champions, Mike and Tom Sherwen, battled it out at the front of the fleet. Pye again took line honours, with Fitzgerald crossing the line inches ahead of Sherwen, who was to find out later that he was disqualified for being over the line at the start!


With winds forecast to pick up further on Sunday the fleet opted for two races back to back before lunch. Both were won by the Wharmbys who had finally found their form, but the rest of the fleet were never far behind.

Jane Pye (and crews) took the prize for the overall winner of the 2001 open series.


Overall Results:

Pos Helm Crew Club
1st Jane Pye Ian Brae Hickling Broad SC
2nd Mike Fitzgerald Tim Dormer Dell Quay SC
3rd Chris Wharmby Jane Goulden Milton Keynes SC
4th John Parker Sarah Cole Hickling Broad SC
5th Chris Morrissey Matthew Castle Milton Keynes SC
6th Bob Rhodes Paul Dickenson Melton Mowbray SC



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