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Contender Travellers' Series at Burton Sailing Club

by Chris Boshier on 20 Mar 18-19 March 2017

The first round of the BCA travellers season opened with a meeting at Burton Sailing Club on the Foremark reservoir in Derbyshire. Sailors travelled from as far afield as Dover and Bristol and were met with a warm but wet Saturday as forecast.

The Format of racing was to be 3 races back to back each day for a very reasonable £20 entry fee.

The first race got underway from a port biased line producing split starting tactics from the fleet, around a vaguely P shaped course around the club marks in conditions that ranged from sitting in to flat wiring whilst swinging around 30 degrees in some gusts, local boy Tom decided to sit the first race out and run home to pick up his stuffer instead, leaving Ed and Tim to fight out for the top 2 places, Ed eventually being victorious with Chris and Bill following behind for 3rd and 4th.

Race 2 and less biased line and a course change which left some of the visitors (well me at least) perplexed as to where we were supposed to be going, although an understandable change by the race officer as the fleet was lapping the first course in 6 minutes! Tom decided to come out and play this one and the top 3 were tight and swapping positions until a shifting gust took Ed out at one of the gybe marks relegating him to 3rd, Chris Followed suit at the gybe mark and Rodger opted to granny round (the sensible course of action as it turned out) so results from race 2 were Tim, Tom, Ed and Bill.

Race 3 consisted of the same course as 2 and similar but possibly slightly less wind, and was pretty much a re-run of the 2nd race although half the fleet were caught out by a shift that cost an extra couple of tacks for them on the 2nd part of the beat on, well I'm not sure which lap it all got a bit confusing. Anyway, the results for race 3 were Tom, Tim, Ed, Chris.

Saturday night consisted of a couple of beers watching the rugby in the club house and then off to a very good curry in Melbourne arranged by Tom, (excellent job) at Zeerah, highly recommended if you're ever up there and very reasonable.

Sunday morning and we were met with the sound of wind whistling through the trees and dark gusts across the cold reservoir water, unfortunately not even remotely coming from the same direction so with the forecast of gust over 30 the fleet headed out again after the joyous ritual of donning cold wetsuits, except Tim who had opted to make it a one day open for himself, with some excuse about Birthdays and meals on the Sunday (and maybe an eye on the forecast for the morrow too).

The run to the start line was entertaining with Craig getting caught on the wrong end of two diverging gust patterns which gybed him twice in a matter of seconds in a resulting in the inevitable swim and a prompt return to shore. Despite all but 2 boats heading out for the first race, discretion was also the better part of valour for all but Tom, Ed and Chris so there were 3 starters for race 4 and a course that took us all over the pond.

Chris took a swim at the gybe again with a similar joyous gust as Craig had encountered on the way out, Ed led until a swim at one of the top marks and let Tom through, I got lost and came in leaving Ed and Tom to fight it out. Ed took another swim out of sight of the dinghy park, when he eventually appeared around the headland Tom had taken the win and Ed needed directions to the last couple of marks.

That was enough excitement for the fleet and we called it a day at 4 races. Leaving the final results as Tom first, Tim 2nd and Ed 3rd.

Thanks to all at BSC for laying on the meeting, race officering, safety boats and excellent catering.

Next Stop Oxford on the 1st & 2nd of April, see you all there.

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