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Blithfield Barrel Series - Round 1

by Chris Martin on 16 Nov 2016 13 November 2016

48 boats made the trip for the first round of the Barrel series. The disappointing forecast was proved totally wrong for the first race as we launched into a rather pleasant force 3.

PRO for the day Alan Skitt set a nice square line and both flights got underway at the first time of asking. Working the right hand side of the beat paid handsomely and that where the runners and riders emerged from at the windward mark. Alan's excellent first course (probably out of the book he wrote!) provided a bit of everything with tactical beats and runs.

The steady breeze proved to be favourable to the fast flight who started first. The Osprey of Chris Gould and Nick Broomhall won the race, followed by the Merlins of Christian Birrel/Tom Pygall and Caroline Croft/Sam Mottershead.

The wind was starting to drop as we came in to enjoy the lunch prepared by Jayne and her team of helpers.

As the drop in the breeze continued apace Alan wisely kept things simple for race to with a straightforward port hand triangle course. The breeze decided to try his patience with a large swing to the right with seconds to go before the fast flight start. This swing proved not to be temporary and stayed well and truly put making the slow start rather port biased and congested at the pin end. Both flights again were clear though and the race commenced.

The breeze continued to drop until we had virtually calm conditions. Alan wisely took the decision to shorted course and the lead boats drifted over the line with relief. However the breeze decided to make a slight encore which gave a boost to the boats at the front of the slow flight!

This race was won by the Merlin of team Barrel/Pygall with Caroline Croft and Sam Mottershead coming in second with the Supernova of Tom Chadfield third.

Prizes this week were sponsored by local boatbuilders Dinghytec. Thanks also to Alan and his team on the water, Jayne and her team in the Galley and everyone else who helped on shore.

The next round of the Barrel takes place on 4th December - we look forward to seeing everyone then. Further details and directions are on the Blithfield Sailing Club website.

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