Nine yachts representing five clubs came to the line for this event, which was also the Eastern Region Championship and Race 2 of the 2002T competition. The wind was a light East South Easterly which enabled the OOD to set a beat using the full length of the pond. It was those skippers who had travelled the furthest who dominated the first race with Stan Cockeram ( Solent) just ahead of Shaun Holbeche (Fleetwood), with local man Chris Esdale-Pearson third.
The extremely warm conditions meant that there were several breaks to proceedings to take on liquids and after the second Race, won this time by Shaun, the OOD abandoned his plan of 4 beats and shortened the course.
Shaun’s dominance continued in the next three races with Chris sailing consistently and Vinnie Zammit (despite suffering a discard) also well to the fore. Last year’s winner of the Vase, Neil Cousins, was coming into the picture with a second and a third in these races and David Kerridge gained his highest placing, finishing second in race 4, whilst further down the fleet Alan Bright and Nigel Featherstone were having a good battle in conditions which did not seem to favour them.
Race 6 onwards saw a big improvement in Geoff Earle’s performance, registering a first place along with a second during the last 5 Races. Shaun and Chris remained the most consistent, with Vinnie not far behind. In the final scores, places 4 to 6, Neil, Geoff and Stan were covered by six points, showing a very keen middle of the Fleet battle.
Shaun’s six wins saw him a very deserved winner, whilst the host Club’s Commodore Chris gave a sound performance and kept Vinnie at bay to finish second. A very tired set of competitors and race officials decided to call an end to racing, as temperatures rose to the high 20’s and one person revealed that he had walked 13Km.
Tomlinson Vase Winner: Shaun Holbeche, 2nd: Chris Esdale –Pearson, 3rd :Vinnie Zammit.
Eastern District Champion: Chris Esdale- Pearson.