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Golden Jubilee Regatta at Coniston Sailing Club sponsored by Lennon Racewear

by Judy Leese on 1 Jun 27-29 May 2017

The Golden Jubilee Regatta saw the best turnout for a number of years with 52 boats entering, 22 of which were Coniston boats. Five races were held over 2 days with a long-distance race on the Bank Holiday Monday.

The 52 boats were split into 3 fleets:

  • A fleet – Ospreys (PY 935) to RS200s (PY 1047)
  • B fleet – RS Aeros (PY 1071) to RS Fevas (1240)
  • C Fleet – RS Quba (1260) to RS Teras (1432)

The conditions were challenging both for the ODs and the competitors with 180 degree wind shifts in both races on the Saturday. The 2nd race on Saturday was hit by thunder and lightning half way through with a decision having to be made whether to abandon or not – as the storm tracked away into the other valley we decided to continue only to witness one final lightning strike just before the boats finished. Luckily this was the last shout from the storm and all boats continued to finish and get off the water safely, if a little wet!

Sunday brought brighter skies (and eventually the sun) and more stable conditions but Coniston continued to deliver fluky gusts (as it does often) which led to some trying conditions for the finishing ODs with 6/7 boats crossing the line all at that same time – great fun for the competitors but pretty stressful in the hut. The video camera saved the day and all boats were accounted for and awarded their correct position.

36 boats entered the long-distance race on the Monday but owing to wet and low wind conditions only 23 (Ospreys to Fevas) braved the start line – but the wind filled in and they had a great race, finishing within 30 minutes of each other.

There was close racing throughout the weekend and most competitors had a couple of poor races so with 4 of the 5 to count many had to count a poor result in their final points but consistency paid off and the usual suspects were up at the front of the fleets. Fleet B was dominated by the hosting club with the first 6 boats from Coniston.

Prizes awarded were a mix of Rash Vests, Rash Bibs and vouchers by Lennon Racewear which were well received by all competitors.

Overall a fantastic 3 days sailing with great feedback from all competitors making the hardwork that goes into preparing and running an event such as this worth while.

Coniston Sailing Club would like to thank Mike Lennon and Lennon Racewear for helping to make the Golden Jubilee Regatta a total success.

Report from Colin Rawlinson (Fleet A – RS200)

Well, I can't write up a whole regatta in a paragraph but I could probably do it in word... gusty!

We had a great turnout of 52 boats and a good few newcomers mainly introduced by the kids and a few of us travelling to other clubs and making new friends. It was really good to have a C fleet this year for the junior sailors in the slower boats.

I'll have to focus on Fleet A for the rest of this as I don't know what happened in the other fleets. I was a bit preoccupied battling it out against what turned out to be probably the best bunch of competitors I have raced against in a handicap fleet! Anyway, Saturday bought us an interesting mix of anything from nothing to F5 in every direction driven by thunder squalls.

Race 1 set off in medium winds and Max and I led the fleet for a good while. The wind filled in though and as good old Wally had set us an Osprey-style beat of doom from 2 to 9 this proved a tad challenging for me and my 4 stone crew. Anyway, Max and I gave it our all on lap 2 and as we felt the lactic acid slowly dissolving our legs I told Max just to hold on for this last beat to keep us in the top 3. As we crossed the finish line and heard no hooter you can only imagine the inner despair as the slow realization of crept up on us that we had to do it all again! We couldn't hold on any more and slowly slipped back as the others powered away up wind.

Race 2 gave us a very interesting situation over at the Brantwood buoy as fleet A and Fleet B all congregated at the same time and we were welcomed as a bunch by hurricane "bar steward". This was followed by in interesting 3 sail reach which definitely caught all our attentions and then a somewhat challenging spinnaker drop at No 2. All in all this race went really well for Max and I and we were sure we had it in the bag until the wind Gods thought it would be funny to turn off the fan just after Mark F and the bloke in the Merlin (I must remember his name!) crossed the line about 50m before we did! Gutted!

Sunday brought a more familiar but still strange wind. To be honest races 3 and 4 seem to have blended into one in my head. I think the only thing I can remember from them was me giggling inside when in race 4 I shoved about 5 boats over the line and felt a bit too smug as I got away for a really good start. I suppose it serves me right that Wally had to do a general recall, then in start 2 I got a howler. Ha ha, never mind, I deserved that I suppose! I don't remember any results for these 2 races but I do remember Tony and Jonesy were sailing really well. They got a good couple of results and were defiantly in front of me.

Race 5, final one. Tony and Jonesy set off really well and were in the mix again. Max and I were close but not really in the running. That was until we finally got the luck I think we deserved after our equal and opposite luck in race 2. We picked up a 180 degree wind shift first and caught every one up at the end of lap 1, then with the bit firmly between our teeth we held on to win that one.

The biggest surprise of the weekend for me was at the prize giving when we were called out in 2nd place. I thought we had too many poor results but I guess in such gusty, patchy, squally, shifty conditions everyone had a few stinkers in there!

Monday Long Distance Race

I thought this was great. It all felt a bit more light hearted and relaxed. Max and Liz jumped in the club Feva for Liz's first race and the slow fleet joined the fast fleet so we could all race together as a final showdown. The wind had settled and it felt like a bit of a treat as we went down the lake into a really stable bottom end of F4. The Osprey's led the way (as they should) but at the bottom mark we were next around after calling for room at the mark on a certain Mr Fernley. At this point we were winning on handicap but we knew that this was only the ½ way point and there was a long way for Olivia and I to have to hang out the side of the 200 for yet another beat of doom. The wind did drop a little at the end of the beat but it had proved too much to hang on to Mark as he moved out onto the racks of the Blaze. We crossed the line still within shouting distance of him then watched eagerly as the slower handicap boats came in wondering if they'd get us on corrected time. Come the prize giving it was great to sit in suspense and the results were called out in reverse order. It felt relieving when the bloke in the Streaker was called out in 3rd but once again we had to eat humble pie as we were next then my good rival Mr Fernley! We'll get 'em next yr!

So, all in all a great regatta with what I though was a good format, the best turnout in years and a separate Junior fleet! Brilliant and thanks to all who organized it.

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