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Buzz National Championships at Paignton Sailing Club

by Zoe Bailey 26 Aug 2011 15:35 BST 20-22 August 2011

The Buzzes returned to Paignton Sailing Club for their National Championships after a successful event in 2008. The Friday evening saw a pursuit race for those who had arrived early, while the rest were setting their boats up on the Green as the sun was setting.

Saturday greeted the fleet with little wind coming from several different directions making it extremely difficult for the Race Officer to set a constant windward - leeward course. After a false start and two hours of bobbing the Race Officer was happy with the course and we were underway.

There was a heavy Port-hand biased on the line which was identified by few of the fleet. Those who used it rounded the mark first, soaking their way down to the gate. After 3 laps Team Bailey took first place closely followed by Team Staples and Team Eyre. The Race Officer adjusted the course toward Brixham Bay for the second race; this again was a Port-hand biased start which was identified by most of the fleet.

The downwind leg to the course saw the wind move forward making it a reach. Those on the port-hand side of the course pulled away quickly. Team Bailey took first place closely followed by Team Eyre and Team Dutton - Winchester. The last race of the day saw another adjustment of the course, the first rounding of the windward mark had Team Staples, Wilson-Noble and Bailey round the mark together.

They all did different routes downwind to the Leeward mark, where they got to the mark together with Team Staples safely rounding, Team Wilson-Noble rounded slowly making Team Bailey try to find a gap that wasn't there. The two boats touched, Team Bailey had to find a safe position to do their 720 this left them at the back of the fleet battling with Team Stanier. Team Staples held onto their first position, upwind Team Eyre overtook Team Wilson-Noble to finish 2nd and 3rd. There was a close finish between Team Dutton-Winchester and Bailey to the finish line for 4th and 5th positions.

After 6 hours on the water the competitors were thankful for the food, drink and entertainment put on by Paignton Sailing Club. The AGM was postponed until the Sunday evening as we were all too weather-beaten and hungry!

Sunday was an earlier start, with a light but constant wind coming over Paignton making it easy for the Race Officer to set a windward-leeward course. The start of the first race caught many of the Buzzes out as the Race Officer decided that we would start with the ISO's. There was a starboard biased to the line so many ISO's and Buzzes attempted to start at the committee boat end. There were several shouts of windward boat; leading to two ISO's having to do 720's just after the start.

Team Dutton-Winchester lead round the windward mark, quickly followed by Team Bailey and Staples. Team Bailey decided to round the mark and gybe taking them away from the fleet, when they reached the Leeward mark they rounded it in the lead, closely followed by Team Dutton-Winchester. As they reached the line to start their second lap Team Dutton-Winchester capsized breaking their boom, they were towed back to shore. Team Bailey took first place, followed closely by Team Wilson-Noble and Team Staples.

Team Eyre had caught up after being sailed off the course by a RS400 doing the handicap race and doing a 720 after contacting with Team Staples they then ended up battling with Team Stanier. Second race saw the wind swing and the Race Office quickly changed the course to suit, but during the start the wind swung back making it another starboard biased course, leading to another interesting start, boats were pushed over the line so the Race Officer decided to call us all back for a general recall.

The restart made everyone hang back on the line making it a clean get away. Team Staples crossed the line first closely followed by Team Bailey and Eyre. The third race saw the wind swing again; Team Dutton–Winchester had managed to fit an ISO boom in time to get out for the start. Again Team Staples crossed the line first closely followed by Team Bailey and Eyre.

It was a shorter day out on the water so the AGM was completed out on the Green, before going to a local pub for food. Doughnuts were consumed by all on the way home to the B&B's.

Monday brought a very calm sea and a lack of wind in the morning, our Race Officer decided that the wind would fill in so we all ventured out. On the way out of the bay Team Bailey and Staples saw a shark fin just above the water, we were later informed that it would have been a Basking shark, but it did put everyone off from capsizing. As we sailed to the race area the wind starter to fill in from the east, so it would only build with the sea breeze. The Race Office again started the Buzzes with the ISOs.

Team Staples rounded the windward mark first closely followed by Team Bailey, Team Wilson-Noble had a close battle with Team Stanier to the windward mark. Team Staples held on to the lead until the second downwind leg were they were passed by Team Bailey. On the third rounding of the leeward mark a 12 foot skiff who was doing the handicap race called mark room on Team Bailey, which stalled them as they rounded the mark. This meant that Team Staples was right on the stern of Team Bailey.

The wind had swung to make the line biased, meaning that Team Staples crossed the line first just in front of Team Bailey. Team Dutton-Winchester crossed the line in third. It was all to play for in the last race between Team Staples and Bailey, whoever won the last race would win the Nationals.

A good start was done by most of the fleet, at the windward mark Team Staples rounded first, closely followed by Team Wilson-Noble and Team Eyre. Team Bailey who had a poor start had to battle through the fleet to come second, just after Team Staples. Team Eyre came third after having a close battle with Team Wilson-Noble.

The Buzz class would like to thank Paignton Sailing Club for running a successful National Championships and holding the entertainment and meal on the Saturday evening.

Overall results

1st - 919 - Ian and Bridget Staples - 7pts
2nd - 401 - Stuart and Zoe Bailey - 9pts
3rd - 987 - Roger and Penny Eyre - 16pts
4th - 1027 - Mark Wilson and Jane Noble - 22pts
5th - 1061 - Chris Dutton and Toby Winchester - 23pts
6th - 921 - Michael and Nathan Stanier - 34pts

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