21 boats entered for the first RS Tera Open Meeting at Oxford Sailing Club, and the first of the 5 event Southern Traveller Series, on Saturday 11th May, this event was shared with a 10 strong RS Feva fleet
On arrival at the club it was clear that this was going to be a windy affair with lines of breeze showing clearly across the reservoir.
The race officer set a fantastic windward / leeward course for the first race of the day, in a good 20 knots, the Fevas started first, followed by the 5 PRO rigged Teras and then the 16 SPORTS.
In the PROs it was nip and tuck all the way round, with multiple place changes throughout with gusts and shifts playing their part, with 4 boats in close contention right until the finish, it was Alex Butler of Hayling Island SC who managed to break the deadlock to take the win, ahead of Robby Boyd of Lymington Town SC and Jonny Tait of Royal Lymington YC.
The SPORTS had an equally tight tussle, lead most of the way round by Ossian Bracegirdle of Hayling Island Sailing Club, however he was eventually caught by Harrison Pye of Draycote Water SC who took line honours, followed by Ossian and then Matthew Caiger of Bewl valley SC.
After lunch the wind had built a little more and race 2 was started in 25 knots, and equally close battle to race 1 ensued in the PROs, with big shifts and even bigger gusts playing a pivotal role, the finish order was as in Race 1, Alex, then Robby and Jonny.
In the SPORTS it was Henry Jameson of Hayling Island SC who lead at the windward mark with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit in this 2 lap race.
As the fleet came down the run for the last time, any one of 4 boats could have taken the win, Henry managed to secure the inside at the leeward mark, and lead the short charge to the finish, Matthew took second and Tom Goacher of Lymington Town SC just managed to pip Harrison at the line to take 3rd.
Between races the breeze continued to build, with all sailors coping extremely well in the conditions, Race 3 was started, however just after the start of the SPORTS, a squall arrived on the reservoir with winds recorded at 54mph, very wisely the racing was abandoned for the day.
Credit must go to all the Tera sailors who were there, some competing in their first open event, not one of them retired, gave up or stayed on shore, despite the challenging conditions, this lot are made of stern stuff.
In the PROs, with 2 wins, Alex took the event, with Robby second and Jonny third, in the SPORTs 3 boats finished with 5 points, so it was countback that decided the result, Henry came out on top, followed by Harrison and then Matthew.
A well organised event, great catering and good facilities, next years event is already in the diary.