By Richard Whitehouse

The hot, dry summer had its effect on Combs reservoir, a canal header in the Peak district. The water level was the lowest for many years but still deemed “sailable”.
Three visiting sailors, (one in an original “classic” Byte) and five local club members took the long trek down the shore to the central puddle. The wind blew from the South, curling over and around the hills and trees and swirling across the “lake” at between 1 and 12mph (on almost every leg of the course).

Rick Whitehouse, with his lifetime knowledge of the lake and its wind patterns, made best use of the fitful conditions to pull through to the lead over the beat to the first mark in every race, extending his lead through banana shaped reaches and runs to avoid the dead spots all over the lake. Two races then lunch, with a choice of vegetarian or meat lasagne enjoyed by all and prepared by Victorias mother Linda, was followed by one more race on Saturday afternoon. The Moores support team returned from their rounds of golf at local courses (one of which is immediately adjacent to the sailing club), and joined the sailors and their support teams for the now traditional evening meal at the Beehive pub in Combs village.


There were three more races on Sunday morning. The predicted much increased wind strength, hoped for by some, did not materialize and conditions remained similar to Saturday with pleasantly warm sunshine but slightly more consistent wind. Rachel Mackinder took first place in the last race, with Victoria having her best result only 1 second behind. By the end of the event, after one discard, Stuart Moore, Rachel McInder and Jenn Bennett all had 14 points, Rachels first place in the last race giving her second overall whilst the same number of seconds, thirds etc. meant that the final 3rd and 4th places were on the last race, giving 3rd to Stuart.  Alex Horsman, in his classic byte, was at his first open meeting and gained considerable experience, getting some one-to-one mentoring from Louis Saunders, ex-national champion. Combs Sailors Jenny Hesketh and Sue Sloan completed the fleet.


Results
1st     Richard Whitehouse        Combs SC
2nd    Rachel McInder        Netley SC
3rd    Stuart Moore            Netley SC
4th    Jenn Bennett            Combs SC
5th    Victoria Theaker        Combs SC   
6th    Jenny Hesketh        Combs SC
7th    Alex Horsman        West Riding SC
8th    Sue Sloan            Combs SC