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Hayling Island Sailing Club hosted the 4th 29er Harken Grand Prix last weekend. The fleet launched and sailed out into the bay in sunny and spring like conditions, with the crews trapezing in an easterly breeze.

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This wind was quickly dying off, but the race team managed to squeeze in four races before it completely disappeared. It was clear from Race One who the leaders were going to be when Ewan Wilson and Fin Armstrong finished with a sizeable lead, Freya Black and Millie Aldridge came in comfortably second with Henry Jameson and Toby Atherton scraping into third position after overtaking Billie Vennis-Ozanne and Charlotte Gordon at the last mark rounding. Ewan and Fin, Millie and Freya dropped slightly in the second race, but they quickly got back into the top 3 in the following races. It was clear on the Saturday that the leaders were often coming from the left side up the beat.

Whilst the clocks went forward everyone managed to get themselves to the race course on time for another light day of racing. Bella Fellows and Anna Sturrock smashed the Sunday with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd but unfortunately picked up a black flag. Freya and Millie had a great finish to the event with a huge lead on the last race, although it was not enough to catch Ewan and Fin overall.

Huge congratulations to Fin and Ewan for winning yet another event, and only dropping out of the top 3 once; Millie and Freya who were 1st Girls and second overall, and Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mathers won the 1st Mixed team prize.

HISC once again hosted a great event on the 29er circuit and it was great to see so many support the event. HARKEN provided a great range of prizes - main and jib sheets, Hullkote for that essential pre-youths polish and a HARKEN 29er jib cleat for the lucky overall winners Ewan and Fin. First winners of the HARKEN Team Personal Best were Caitlin Webster and Dani Middleton with their best result in the last two Grand Prix. A huge thanks to the Race Committee and all the support boats on the water; it was great to be back in the boat the weekend before the RYA Youth Nationals in Largs.

Toby Atherton
28th March 2018