Photos © Chris Martin
Blithfield Barrel Series day 3
51 boats turned up for the third round of the Barrel series and were greeted with perfect conditions. Sunshine, a nearly full reservoir and a pleasant force three by the time we launched made for excellent sailing.
Race officer Bill Watson set a cracking course using the whole lake, and a line that was pretty square on to the wind. We still needed a general recall with a black flag to get things underway, and once they did it became apparant the the seemingly steady breeze had a few tricks to play!
Up the first beat it was a choice of going hard left and risking a port tack approach in breeze or short tacking up the right and hoping for some luck. Either seemed to pay up the first beat leading to a challenging rounding for many.
A group of Merlins and a couple of Ospreys broke clear of the fleet and stayed there, though the long and very tactical beat mixed things up over the three laps. Rich Adams and Chris Gould won the race in a Merlin, Dave Winder came in second in his brand new boat, and Steve and Gill Leney come in third also in a Merlin.
Lunch was again enjoyed by all, and thanks to the Ladies (And Steve) in the galley headed up by Jayne Tatton.
The breeze stayed almost the same for the second race, though it was a little stronger at first. This time the line had a tempting port bias, but the race got away at the first attempt. The ususal suspects broke clear and away, though again the beat was very tactical and places were changing all the time. This time Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor won the race with Andy Davis and Bruce Deppe second.
So, round 4 takes place on February 19th. First place is between any of the first five, though Steve and Gill Leney, Chris Martin and Dan Morgan and Mike Senior and Chris White will need to win races to take the Barrel. Below that the battle for the top 10 is wide open with anyone from about 15th up able to finish in the chocolates.
See you on the 19th!
Full results so far can be found here.