Good wind, great competition and a sociable club. What an amazing weekend at the inlands!
Race 1 began with a light-ish breeze and a great tussle between the top few boats including Reg and Gemma, Bob Towler, James Penty and Dave and Ed Coady. However, after many place changes the lighter winds favoured Henry and Jamie Rastrick and they stormed ahead of the fleet taking 1st place. A great race for Bob Towler gave him his best position of 3rd, just pipped by Reg and Gemma for 2nd.
The wind built up more for race 2 so the advantage of the lighter crews was lessened making it an equal opportunity for the top spot. This was claimed by Reg and Gemma with Dave and Ed Coady hot on their heels in 2nd. This race also saw April and Sandy taking their best result of the weekend in 6th.
Henry and Jamie once again flew away from the start to claim 1st in race 3 followed by James, our new singlehanded inland champion, James had never sailed a mirror before this weekend! Henry and Jamie took the prize overall for first under 17 other than overall winner.
After a torrid time in race 3, Reg and Gemma picked up their game and took the final race of day 1 with a considerable lead leaving the battle open for 2nd. This was taken by Andy and Erin Young who had a bad experience with a fly-away pole earlier in the day however, nothing that a bandage and a pirate eye-patch couldn’t fix!
The second day started with more wind with crews on the side hiking especially in the lighter crewed boats and singlehanders. The wind had changed direction slightly causing a slight local advantage making the right hand side to pay (I’d like to thank James Penty for pointing that out to me before we went out sailing!). The boats were much more spread out in this race with Emma and Ben taking a spectacular port end flyer and slowly pulling away from the fleet followed by Dave and Ed. In 3rd, having got their heads adjusted from sea sailing to shifty pond racing, Tom and Esme were back up there.
Going into the final race it was all to play for, 4 boats were on scores of 13 or 14 with Reg and Gemma just ahead on 8. This meant a top 4 finish would secure them 1st but the 4 boats on similar points would have to scrap for second. High tension and excitement caused there to be two general recalls on this start so it had to go to the black flag… This was the first use of this flag as it had been made by Peter(the Race Officer) specially for the event. A clear start on the black and the race was on Emma and Ben were first to the windward mark followed by Reg and Gemma but the other competitors for 2nd were hot on their tails. Up the next beat Emma made the decision to cover tack Reg which was a mistake as this just slowed the two leading boats down allowing the rest of the fleet to catch up. After a slow beat Emma ended up losing a lot of ground and having to battle James down the reach to the wing mark however, the next leg was too much for James with the spinnaker so he dropped it before the gybe and Emma was able to pull away. It was a close call up the next beat but Emma just pipped Reg to the post with James taking 3rd. Emma and Ben took the prize overall for first under 19 other than the overall winner.
This was the final event of the Nationwide series, 10 boats completed the series including one sailor who sailed in every event, whether he wanted to or not, George Richards. The furthest travelled boat came from Cornwall which was Tom and Esme in order to qualify. The winner of the series was Reg and George/Gemma with Emma and Ben taking second. First singlehander in the series was Rob Dean. The overall NeilPryde 2013 Nationwide Series results are here.
On behalf of all the competitors, I’d like to thank Beaver SC because I know how much work was put into this event not just on the day but weeks in advance. Thank you to Peter and Colin for some amazing races, the ladies in the galley for brilliant food and the guys on rescue. Also, thanks to NeilPryde for sponsoring the event.
Well done to all the competitors and I hope to see you all either in squads through the winter or back on the water in next year’s racing season!
Report by Rachel Grayson (Reg)