The 21st September 2014 dawned and the weather looked promising for a great morning of sailing as part of Bart’s Bash. Paul Jefferies reports...
Arriving early at the club as my daughter had agreed to crew in a Mirror (her first proper race) little could be known about the event that was to follow. Dropping her with her helm and getting my D-Zero ready for action I could see the Race Officer and a couple of Committee Members looking worried and a little lost. It turned out some extra organisation help was required.
Various members, helpers and others were quickly roped in and a suitable course was set and subsequently measured (1.6km, around 1 mile who would have thought). All the while the club was filling up with people eager to sail in what was the largest turnout for club racing for some time.
49 helms signed on, all made it to the start line. A long first beat had been set in an effort to try and stretch the fleet out a little by the windward mark. With the wind blowing a nice F3 with gusts to F4 and constantly shifting around (as it always does when from the north at Hunts) choosing the right end of the line was almost as critical as finding a gap and trying to get clear air.
Your learned reporter decided that as the breeze kept going west that the pin end was the end to be. As the gun went with only a couple of people at that end there was a moment of trepidation until the wind shifted and a quick tack had me crossing the fleet. Playing the shifts up the beat resulted in a handy lead at the windward mark followed by a couple of Phantoms, an Enterprise and a couple of Solos. Interestingly the Enterprise started at the Committee boat end and managed to find clear wind so line end choice was not as critical as being in clear air.
From there on a battle ensured between myself (in my D-Zero), Martin Mills and Neville Taylor (both in Phantoms) with Gary Fowler and Simon Kerr not dropping back too quickly in their Solos. Until around ¾ of the way through the race there was not much between the 3 leaders with the lead changing hands between myself and Neville several times with Martin keeping a close watch from astern ready to pounce on any mistakes. Then the decisive moment came, Martin had dropped back a little and Neville decided to gybe off on the run. This left me to ride a small gust all the way down the run and build a small lead of just under a minute at the finish.
Gary and Simon in their Solos were also have a great scrap on the last lap. Gary caught Simon out on starboard and forcing him to do turns on the last beat. This slowed them both down just enough to allow me to take the victory after the results had been processed.
There were a lot of battles taking place throughout the entire fleet with some very close finishes both on the water and on corrected time. There were also a number of young novice racers on the water some for some of whom it was their first serious race. A great effort from all the sailors, RO team, Safety team and Galley team for their efforts. A special mention to Jan Carver who did a lot of work organising on the day. £329.25 was raised from donations and the cake sale.
Prize giving will be held on the 28th September 2014 at the club. After some hard work from the race team and a few extra assistants the provisional results are as follows:
1st Paul Jefferies D-Zero GBR101
2nd Gary Fowler Solo 5135
3rd Simon Kerr Solo 5251
4th Neville Taylor Phantom 1329
5th Martin Mills Phantom 1201
1st Youth Monty Foster Laser Radial 163452
2nd Youth Terry Hacker Optimist 5356
3rd Youth Henry Whittle Europe 53
1st Lady Hannah Whiteside Laser Radial 183945
You can find the Sailwave results in our results section.